Gracie Cavnar: February 2012 Archives

A top chef school in Houston: Gracie Cavnar's RecipeHouse offers cooking classes from masters
02.15.12 | 11:31 am
Houston may not be dense, but it can be quite good at hiding gems just out of sight. So when I was invited to a cooking class to celebrate the opening of RecipeHouse, an extension of Gracie Cavnar's Recipe 4 Success, I was stunned to learn that the organization, keeps its headquarters just a few steps from my front door in Montrose.

Read Sarah's entire story here.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
by Allan Turner, The Houston Chronicle City&State section

"As an oasis in one of Houston's sprawling "food deserts," the little grocery store wasn't much. Wilted mustard greens, pocked tomatoes and past-their-prime cantaloupes filled the produce bins. Soft drinks, candy and salty snacks lurked tantalizingly nearby." Read the whole story here.
Rolling GreenTruck no logo.jpg

"On January 18, 2012 Mayor Annise Parker's & Recipe for Success Foundation's Rolling Green Market initiative earned $25,000 and a second place finish at the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 2012 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards."  See the press release issued by Mayor Parker here:

Imagine this scenario:
A beautifully painted vehicle rolls down your street every Tuesday, 
music playing and bells ringing.  It reminds you of when the ice cream truck
used to roam this neighborhood, but it's the Hope Farms Rolling Green Market.

It parks on the corner, a half dozen young people jump out, and within minutes it is transformed into the most bountiful Farmers Market stand you have ever seen.  Under a striped awning, crates of fresh produce cover tables.  The vegetables you don't recognize are accessorized with recipe cards for delicious, affordable family meals.  A chef holds court in one corner doing a cooking class--ratatouille--he even lets your 5-year-old help.  And a smiling young woman is offering tasting samples.  "Try before you buy!" she encourages your neighbors.  When you look at the blackboard pricelist, you can't believe your eyes!  The summer squash is only 50¢ a pound!  At these prices, you can make that ratatouille for your whole family for just a couple of dollars--even less than getting everyone a 99¢ value meal at the fast food joint on the corner.  And they take WICS, too.  You look forward to Tuesdays all week long.  The arrival of the Hope Farms Rolling Green Market every Tuesday afternoon has become a defacto neighborhood gathering, which is so much fun.  But it has also been a lifesaver for you and your whole family.  It is your only resource for fresh produce . . . it has changed your life.

We must raise an additional $200,000 to get the Hope Farms Green Market Rolling.  Will you help us? Donate any amount today.

Our goal for the Hope Farms Rolling Green Market is to alleviate serious health risk and promote good nutrition by delivering significantly reduced-priced, fresh fruits and vegetables directly to families who are now marooned in identified Houston neighborhoods that are known as food deserts or who are otherwise considered to be suffering from nutritional insecurity, thereby empowering caregivers to provide a healthy diet to Houston's children.  The secondary goals of Hope Farms Rolling Green Market Are: To promote the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and good nutrition to all Houstonians, and to be a national roll model that inspires similar initiatives throughout the country.

The Hope Farms Rolling Green Market vehicle will be fabricated from a used Mercedes Freightliner stepvan.  It will have a fully refrigerated cargo area with added coolers, a vegetable prep and washing station, a portable cooking station, a pop-open window, a fully retractable side awning and all the tables, chairs and equipment required to transform it into an impromptu farmers market stand and cooking demonstration area.  It will be 100% wrapped in graphics, which will transform it into a fulltime rolling billboard for fresh food.

The day-to-day business operation of the Hope Farms Rolling Green Market will be undertaken by our city's youth--a team of five 16-24 year old interns selected through a highly competitive process for a one-year internship as a member of the Rolling Green Team.  Each intern will receive an annual stipend of $5,000 minimum.  The Rolling Green Team will actively participate in a career development program focused on expanding their job skills and preparing them for the workforce, with the support of selected mentors and advisors.  The Team will be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with food donors, collection of produce, community outreach and customer development, sales and distribution of produce, collection of payments, and submitting detailed reports, and will be mentored and managed by a member of the Recipe for Success Foundation professional staff--the Director of Rolling Green.

The Hope Farms Rolling Green Market will operate on a regular timetable Monday through Sunday, circulating throughout Houston's most critically at-risk neighborhoods - the ones marooned in food deserts.  In a pending agreement with the City of Houston Heath Department and Harris County Health Department, it may also make frequently scheduled appearances at the neighborhood clinics.