Boys & Girls Club of Pharr – San Juan received the Gold Recognition Award from Texas Department of Agriculture through its Healthier CACFP grant. This award recognizes the club’s outstanding work within the Healthier Child and Adult Food Care Program which focuses on the 3’s of healthy living; education, exercise and eating right.
The CACFP program is implemented at all four BGCPSJ Club Site locations where an estimated 200 youth & teen members engage in weekly gardening classes where they learn to plant and cultivate edible trees and plants. When plants are ready to be harvested, members take part in weekly cooking classes that teach them to prepare the food they grow including strawberries, watermelon, avocado, cucumber, tomato, spinach, peppers, and various other produce. This is a vital key to the promotion of healthy living as studies show that kids who grow their own fruits and vegetables are more likely to consume them. Meals prepared have included cowboy salad, chicken cabbage casserole, and even vegetable noodles. The program also culminates with a Harvest Day Celebration, which consists of an open house for participants to show their garden to our daily club members of 1,245 youth/teens, the community, healthy cooking demonstrations, and food sampling.
BGCPSJ Grant Compliance Coordinator Elizabeth Rivera reacted to the news of the award,
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture for the Healthier CACFP Program. I was able to attend the TDA MegaCon Conference in May in Austin, TX where we were able to showcase the ongoing incredible impact this grant is providing to our youth & teens. We are proud to have success with the gardening, nutrition, cooking, and overall healthy living empowerment at BGCPSJ, and we are so excited to be chosen as a recipient of this award.”
The Texas Department of Agriculture Certificate of Recognition congratulated Boys & Girls Club of Pharr – San Juan’s efforts stating,
“Congratulations! Through your service to young Texans, you are creating a brighter future for the great state of Texas. The Texas Department of Agriculture is excited to honor and recognize your exemplary achievement with a Healthier Child and Adult Care Food Program Recognition Award.”