Feb 16, 2021Brighter Bites expands to Salinas, California
Brighter Bites, a national nonprofit organization that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands, has launched its seventh location in Salinas, California.
According to a news release, the fertile fields of the Salinas Valley are home to numerous growers, and the headquarters of many Brighter Bites partners making it an ideal location for the expansion. Brighter Bites looks forward to seizing on this opportunity to improve the health of the students and families in the Salinas area by providing nutrition education and access to free, fresh produce being grown so close.
“We’re thrilled to expand our services to the ‘produce capital’ of our country,” said Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites. “Partnering with the Salinas community is such a natural fit for Brighter Bites and we’re honored to work with local growers, shippers, and organizations to continue the momentum of giving back to a community that has given us so much.”
Brighter Bites’ launch in the region is made possible through the support of several key partners, including River Fresh Farms, who is providing logistical support, and critical funding partners like the Church Brothers, JV Smith Companies, Mission Produce, Taylor Farms, and the Walmart Foundation. Other donors, including those who are providing produce, include Braga Fresh, D’Arrigo California, Dole Food Company, Mann Packing Company, Muzzi Family Farms, and The Nunes Co.
Monterey County resident Alicia Blanco, Senior Program Manager for Brighter Bites, has identified three school districts that the organization will initially partner with based on current need and fit with the Brighter Bites’ mission. The schools partnering with Brighter Bites for the school year include the Gonzales Unified School District, Greenfield Union School District, and Monterey County Head Start. Brighter Bites will continue to grow the program in the Salinas region into the summer and fall.
“We are so excited to be partnering with Brighter Bites to bring farm-fresh produce to our students and their families. This program will allow our students to learn the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, while providing them with the resources to do so,” said Alvin Vitug, Director of Nutrition at La Gloria Elementary School in Gonzales, CA.
Since launching in 2012, Brighter Bites has distributed more than 40 million pounds of produce and hundreds of thousands of nutrition education materials to over 500,000 individuals through schools, after school programs and summer camps in the cities in which it serves. Brighter Bites uses a simple formula for introducing healthy lifestyles to families: produce distribution, nutrition education, and a fun food experience that helps to demystify produce and show just how great it can taste.
Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschools, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food.
Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided more than 40 million pounds of produce and hundreds of thousands of nutrition education materials to more than 500,000 individuals (including teachers) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. In 2021 Brighter Bites expanded its programming to Salinas, California.
To learn more about Brighter Bites visit www.brighterbites.org and follow on social media @brighterbitessalinas.