Recipe for Success Grows To Serve Even More Children

Gracie Cavnar
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July 28, 2010- On July 6, the Recipe for Success Foundation kicked off its Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ in six City of Houston Multi-Service centers, thanks to two generous grants: One to the City from Houston Galveston Area Council and the other to Recipe for Success Foundation from The Children's Fund, Inc. 

This is the first time regular Recipe for Success Foundation Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ classes have been given outside of a school environment. 

The Houston Health Department was so impressed by RFS pilot results in elementary schools, that they aggressively spearheaded a year-long effort to secure funding and bring the classes to their multi-service community centers.  At the same time, we sought grants for this exciting growth step. 

The Children's Fund announced their grant to Recipe for Success Foundation in late 2009 and awarded it in May, 2010.  The Houston-Galveston Area Council awarded funds to the City in January and The Houston City Council approved the collaboration in May, 2010.  The new programming will be presented in two segments:  Eat This! Summer Camps followed in September by Eat This! & Kids Dig It! After School programs.

The exciting step for the organization required some adjustments and we relished the challenge!  One of my primary goals when launching RFS, was to create a easily replicable program that could be adapted to a broad spectrum of available resources and still deliver the end results: changing children's attitudes and habits by making healthy food fun.  This vote of confidence from the City made us even more determined to find solutions."

The Eat This! Summer Camps™ operate until August 13th, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Denver Harbor, Kashmere, Northeast, Southwest, Sunnyside and West End Multi-Service Centers. The camps are free to registered 9-11 year olds.

Campers learn healthy eating habits through cooking and gardening classes and then are taken one step further by learning how food is marketed to them.  Using their newly-acquired marketing knowledge, they create a healthy food product from their own garden produce; then test, perfect, package and sell it in their own market.  With the profits, the children will make a donation to the center's garden.  It's the ultimate in hands-on experiential learning.  July Eat This! Summer Campers plan to sell their handmade products at their respective multi-service centers on Thursday, July 29 from noon until 1:00.

Eat This! Summer Campers sell their handmade goodies
Dr. Allen inspects the corn


"We are really happy with Recipe for Success," said Martha Garza, Senior Program Manager at West End Multi-service Center.  "Children are looking at labels and consuming different foods than they did before."

Thanks to the generous grant from The Children's Fund, the summer camps will be followed in the coming school year by RFS Eat This!™ and Kids Dig It!™ after-school programing, which are also free to participating elementary aged students.  After school programs will operate twice each week from 4:00 until  6:00.


"Recipe for Success Foundation liberates the kids from their habits," said Hannah Jeffers, Kashmere Multi-service Center volunteer.  "When the volunteers and teachers get excited about vegetables and fresh food, so do the kids."

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