The statistics are staggering: more than 30% of American children are overweight and at risk for obesity or already suffering from its effects. The rates in Texas, where nearly 50% of fourth graders fall into an at-risk weight category, are among our nation's highest.
We believe that children need to know that food doesn't grow in drive through windows and plastic wrapping; that Twinkie is not a vegetable. We set out with the help of dozens of professional chefs who serve on our Advisory Board to create programs that demystify healthy food by making it deliciously fun and easy for kids and adults to understand and prepare, and to make it more accessible to Houston families.
Since 2005, Recipe for Success Foundation's signature program, Seed-to Plate Nutrition Education™ has empowered over 35,000 school children in Houston and beyond with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy eating decisions for life. Our extensive, hands-on curriculum for pre-K through fifth grade students connects the produce in their gardens to the food on their plates, producing remarkable, sustained behavior changes.
In 2013, to reduce the cost and dramatically scale S2P program delivery, the Foundation launched our Affiliate Partnership program wherein a school's existing staff or volunteers are trained, certified and supported through our comprehensive Curriculum Support Website. Since that time, an ever-increasing number of schools across the country from Washington, D.C. to Petaluma, California, have joined as Affiliate Partners.
Now in our 11th year of operations, our programs continue to make a difference for people of all ages through our nutrition education programs, public awareness campaigns, community engagement and outreach related to healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Recipe For Success Foundation's Core Action Initiatives include:
- Nutrition Education: Influence the next generation of food consumers to make better choices using our innovative Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ for Pre-K through 8th grade students, amplified by contests and themed curriculum distributed for free to all educators.
- Public Service Campaigns: Raise awareness and influence behavior of the entire population including the annual VegOut! 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge in March and Farmers MarKIDS DAYS in October.
- Publishing, video and trans-media projects: Eat It! Food Adventures™ an award-winning series of children's cookbooks; a series of bilingual cookbooks; and the creation of the farmers marKIDS DAYS trans-media project, with content for web, handheld devices and broadband.
- Hope Farms: A 7-acre urban farm designed to generate significant food crops in the midst of a Houston "food desert," and provide small business incubation, co-op services and workforce readiness training for urban youth and US Veterans and our Rolling Green Market, which delivers affordable produce to those without transportation.