Improving Health through a Sustainable Food System (the Harris County BUILD Health partnership) is an initiative of Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services, the Houston Food Bank, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to launch a new healthy, accessible, and community-supported local food system in north Pasadena, which emerged from the partners’ work on Healthy Living Matters (HLM).

The initiative is one of seven projects awarded $250,000 by the BUILD Health Challenge in recognition of its efforts to improve community health. The BUILD Health Challenge is a national awards program supporting “Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven” community health interventions in low-income, urban neighborhoods founded by The Advisory Board Company, de Beaumont Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Harris County BUILD project will launch a new food system in north Pasadena that is healthy, sustainable, affordable, accessible, and community-supported. We envision all north Pasadena residents at a healthy weight and free of obesity-related heath issues.

See how we're BUILDING a Healthier Pasadena!


  • Community Supported Agriculture Campus (CSA)
    • The BUILD Partership will include the first ever Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) campus in north Pasadena. The CSA will be a small scale indoor farm using the latest in indoor agriculture technologies to grow and sell healthy foods locally.
  • Job Training
    • Students can use the tools and space in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) campus to learn valuable job skills for careers in hydroponics, agricultural management and culinary arts. The CSA classroom will be a great place to teach about gardening and nutrition for younger students, too.


  • Healthy Corner Store Network
    • Convenience stores throughout Pasadena have pledged to retrofit their stores to carry more healthy and fresh foods like dairy, fruits and vegetables.
  • Brighter Bites
    • Elementary school students and families are getting their homework of fresh foods and vegetables distributed through the Brighter Bites Program.
  • Healthy Dining Matters
    • Menus at local Pasadena restaurants have had a checkup and will be working to offer healthier options that are easy to find on their menus.


  • Prescription for Fruits and Vegetables
    • Local healthcare partners will be writing patients a prescription for fruits and vegetables as a way to combat diet-related health issues. Patients can fill their prescriptions for free at on-site "Food FARMacies", BUILD distribution partners (such as corner stores), and the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) campus.
  • Food Scholarships
    • "Food Insecure" students will receive scholarships for healthy foods to keep their minds and bodies fueled for learning. Scholarships are filled at free mobile food pantries, BUILD distribution partners (such as corner stores), and the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) campus.



For more information on how to get involved, download our Infographic (English or Spanish) or sign up for our newsletter.

You can also click the following videos to learn more about BUILD from a national and local perspective:


Press Releases

High-Tech Vertical Farming Facility Taking Shape in North Pasadena (4/7/2015, Pasadena Citizen)

Support for this project was provided by a grant from the BUILD Health Challenge, a national awards program funded by the Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.