community food security initiative

The Community Food Security Initiatives’ frameworks help individuals understand the connection between healthy eating and chronic illness, develop volunteers as champions for healthy eating, especially in communities with food access barriers, strengthen the capacity of community organizations to develop their own healthy living programs, and identify and address policies that contribute to food deserts. The initiative includes both the Farmers Markets and Community Gardens programs.

According to CDC’s 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 12% of high school students in Texas are obese and 78.7% ate fewer than five servings for fruits and vegetables per day. Our community gardens encourage communities to share and utilize open spaces that have been created to grow organic and nutritional produce families to cook at home. Over 2,400 local families are provided with access to our gardens and given additional education on the nutritional value that comes from eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Community Gardens Program has raised a total of 72 garden beds which have produced over 27,000 of produce and services 12 communities through our Multi-Service Centers. We want to continue to make healthy foods available to the citizens of Houston and with your help we hope to reach more communities and help raise awareness on how healthy food choices can make a difference in obesity prevention.

Young Agri Business Leaders of Houston

Please email Robert Yanez at   

Download printable flier in English or Spanish.

The Young Agri Business Leaders of Houston is a project that seeks to empower and connect immigrant youth living in the neighborhood of Gulfton in Houston, to the process of urban agriculture, farming and entrepreneurship. This is an opportunity to engage immigrant youth in an urban agriculture enterprise. Youth will be exposed to leadership skills, effective communication strategies, business acumen, knowledge of native and ethnic crops, coalition building, team work, health literacy and inclusivity building. This is a pilot program we are excited to guide in Gulfton through the support of the Aetna Foundation.   

We are specifically targeting immigrant youth to encourage their self-empowerment in the following ways:

  • Cultural Pride: Selecting crops to grow that are representative of their cultural background

  • Learning to choose wisely: Youth will learn to leverage existing resources within the garden and the market.

  • Learning from the Experts: Youth will be immersed in training that will allow them to learn the skills needed to succeed.

  • Food Access: The project will increase availability and access to healthy food for youth and the community of Gulfton at large.

  • Entrepreneurship: Youth will develop and implement a youth led farm stand and partner with the Get Moving Houston Farmers Market where they will also be able to sell their produce and keep the financial gains, too.