Recipe for Success Foundation (RFS)
“The Foundation is dedicated to combating childhood obesity by changing the way our children understand, appreciate and eat their food, and by educating and mobilising the community to provide healthier dietary habits for children. They have developed a comprehensive experiential learning programme that makes healthy food fun, and they work to make healthy food available to the broader community.
Created by Gracie Cavnar, President & CEO of Recipe for Success Foundation and her husband Bob, they wanted to translate research into action and change the way children eat. Many of the finest chefs in their town joined their efforts and together they took a small step in the war against childhood obesity. Prevention.
They began in the schools, giving monthly hands-on classes that put children in touch with their food from seed to plate and they made it fun. They built the programme from there to include after-school, summer camp, parent classes and community outreach. Children were changing their habits and attitudes. Parents reported that their children now want to help cook and more often than not reached for the healthier option without prompting.
In Houston, the rates of childhood obesity are staggering. The loss of connection with food and the traditions of the table; reluctance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and cultural preference for a meat-based diet; and a reliance on processed food with a huge carbon footprint are some of the key contributing factors.
The Foundation knew that creating a successful replicable programme in Houston’s stressed urban environment could impact the whole country, potentially saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs, but more importantly, rescuing an entire generation of Americans.
They operate their showcase ‘Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education programme’ in five Houston Independent School District (ISD) Elementary schools serving at-risk populations. They began programming in five geographically and ethnically diverse Houston ISD Elementary Schools in the autumn of 2006. These became their pilot schools, where they tested their theories and fine-tuned their delivery.
The schools are: Briscoe Elementary. It is located in the Magnolia Park and Mason Park communities in Southeast Houston. Briscoe Elementary is a school-wide Title I school providing instruction to students in grades pre-kindergarten through to sixth grade.
Gross Elementary is located in the Southwest district of the Houston Independent School District. The neighborhood school is currently in its ninth year of existence. It was designed to relieve Milne, Foerester, and Bell Elementary Schools. Gross Elementary has a student population comprised of 54% African American, 38.8% Hispanic, 0.9% Caucasian, 0.1% Native American and 6.2% Asian/Pacific Islander.
MacGregor Elementary was originally named Southmore. It opened in 1922 and was named for the Southmore District. In 1930, Southmore was renamed by the Board of Trustees of HISD to Henry F. MacGregor. Today MacGregor Elementary offers intensive instruction in music, science, and technology.
N.Q. Henderson Elementary is located in Houston’s Fifth Ward, Nat Q. Henderson is committed to the total development of each child academically, socially, culturally, and morally. They believe each child benefits from a positive learning environment that includes parental and community involvement.
Sylvan Rodriguez Jnr Elementary is named for Sylvan Rodriguez Jnr (20 March 1948 -7 April 2000) whose contributions to the Hispanic community were numerous. The School has an integrated curriculum with a focus on science, technology, and the fine arts. Sylvan was a long time Houston television journalist and KHOU-TV anchor who strongly believed in education, the space programme, in volunteer work, and community service. He supported and collaborated in programmes encouraging at-risk youth to stay in school and pursue opportunities in medicine, space, and science.
KIPP Shine was added as a sixth showcase school in the autumn of this year. KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Programme, is on a mission to develop in underserved students the academic skills, intellectual habits, and qualities of character necessary to succeed at all levels of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, college, and the competitive world beyond.
Now entering its second decade, KIPP has become a national leader in the movement to provide all children with access to an excellent education. They are proving that demographics do not define destiny. Over 80 percent of their students are from low-income families, 95 percent are African American or Latino.
THEIR OTHER PROGRAMMES
Their other trademarked programmes include: Chefs in Schools, Recipe Gardens,Eat This! AFter School, Kid’s Dig it! After School, Eat This! Summer Camps, Eat It! Food Adventures, Hope Farms and Newtrition Vending.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Support the Foundation’s sustainable and national growth endeavours. To them, every dollar helps and they deeply appreciate your assistance in their quest to save kid’s lives by instilling in them good nutritional habits for life.” I absolutely agree. And for your help, thank you very much.