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Photo courtesy of Hope Farms

Featured Article

Growth, Power & Persistence at Hope Farms

Empowering Houston's youth with healthy eating habits.

Since 2005, a Houston non-profit has been a wonderful leading force in combating childhood obesity by teaching, inspiring and empowering the next generation to create healthy eating habits. With successful award-winning efforts such as their Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program in schools nationwide and The VegOut! 30-Day Challenge, it was only natural for the Recipe for Success Foundation to build Hope Farms. This project offers a place where anyone can receive fresh food, knowledge and skills for healthy living. “We envision a world where healthy eating is the norm,” says Founder & CEO Gracie Cavnar.

Cavnar’s vision began 17 years ago in a time where fast food chains were emerging on every corner, elementary schools had vending machines and childhood obesity rates increased. While marketing and advertising also helped create unhealthy eating habits for kids, Cavnar knew she had to help shape a culture where kids were excited about eating healthy foods. She began spreading awareness and partnering with 25 chefs. Together, they taught elementary school kids gardening and cooking skills. By the time Hope Farms broke ground in 2016, the foundation had helped 30,000 kids in Houston and beyond. Hope Farms opened so that kids’ parents and families could also have access to locally sourced foods and valuable knowledge to continue healthy eating habits.  

Hope Farms is a seven-acre vibrant urban farm providing affordable healthy food in one of Houston's ‘food deserts,' Sunny Side neighborhood. Residents have access to delicious foods and vegetables like tomatoes, apples, beets, carrots, spinach and more. The farm also offers great educational programs from cooking classes to farmer training.


With the years-long success of their Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program, the Recipe for Success Foundation added Cook the Harvest classes at Hope Farms. Adults and kids can create easy and healthy meals with recipes by celebrity chefs in the new Peg Lee Culinary Classroom on Saturdays. Their gardening classes teach the connection between Mother Earth, the sun, rain, birds, butterflies, bees and the meal for a better understanding of healthy foods.


On Saturday mornings, locals can purchase freshly harvested produce and eggs. They can even order days ahead through their Virtual Farm Store. Can’t make it out to the farm? Seasonal Farm Share Members can receive organic produce delivered to their home or office. 


Hope Farms offers a great farmer training program. Individuals learn about horticulture, crop planning, enterprise and supply chain management, farm accounting, marketing and business planning. In partnership with the USDA, partial and full scholarships are provided to qualifying Veterans to transform warriors into farmers. Since the beginning of the program, 28 farmers have been trained. 


“Welcoming dozens of eight-year-olds and seeing their eyes light up when visiting Hope Farms is what motivates us every day”, Cavnar mentions. To date, the Recipe for Success Foundation has served over 50,000 kids and families with their Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program and raised $20 million to combat childhood obesity. Whether it's a monetary donation, volunteer opportunity, class attendance or sharing healthy eating habits with others that’s what keeps the farm growing. "We invite you to join our table and share your stories to spin the threads that connect generations, weaving the fabric of community." - Hope Farms.

  • Photo Credit Daniel Ortiz
  • Recipe for Success Foundation Founder & CEO Gracie Cavnar. Photo Credit Daniel Ortiz
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Kids cooking the harvest with Recipe for Success. Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms
  • Photo courtesy of Hope Farms