Apr 5, 2022Brighter Bites donates over 500,000 lbs of produce to Austin families
Brighter Bites, a national non-profit delivering fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands, has reached more than 3,500 families and 500 teachers in Austin with approximately 524,000 pounds of fresh produce this school year.
The non-profit provides teachers with Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) online nutrition lessons as well as videos around produce-related activities to teach and encourage healthier lifestyles among students and their families. Its curriculum aligns with Brighter Bites’ mission to distribute fresh food to students in underserved communities.
“Brighter Bites Austin continues to run a very successful school year, serving almost 5,000 elementary school students and their families,” said Rebeca Hernandez Gonzalez, senior program manager for Brighter Bites’ Austin operations, in a news release. “We are also so pleased to distribute produce to our amazing teachers and administrators, who are instrumental to our classroom programming.”
Major Austin partners include FreshPoint Dallas providing operational support, as well as a number of other produce suppliers, including Imperfect Foods, Taylor Farms, B. Catalani Produce, Urban Roots, Chelan Fresh and Dole. Donations have included a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including beets, cucumbers, apples, salad kits, bell peppers, Bok choy, yellow squash, and pineapples.
In March, Brighter Bites participated in the International Fresh Produce Association’s Global Street Farm (#JoyOfFresh) event during Austin’s SXSW festival. The event attracted hundreds of participants and increased awareness around the importance of bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to communities in need throughout the United States. More than 150 individuals visited Brighter Bites’ booth where they learned more about the non-profit, its mission and plans to expand to additional cities in the coming months.
Brighter Bites, which is based in Houston, is dedicated to creating healthy communities by providing produce and nutrition literacy to families in cities throughout the country. The organization works with families in 138 school settings in eight cities, with each family receiving about 50 servings of fresh, seasonal produce and nutrition education on a weekly basis. Brighter Bites families are actively engaged during the program, with data showing that they consume significantly more fresh produce and talk about nutrition more often in their homes.