Let’s keep
a good thing
growing.

Join

The Brighter Bites application for
school year 2021-2022 is now closed.

Please reach out to your city contact below with any questions.

Houston

535 Portwall St
Houston, TX 77029

Dallas

1808 S. Good Latimer Expy
Dallas, TX 75226

Austin

9715 Burnet Rd, #400, Bldg #7
Austin, TX 78758

NYC

5501 2nd St
Long Island City, NY 11101

Washington, D.C.

4900 Puerto Rico Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20017

Southwest Florida

3940 Prospect Ave, #101
Naples, FL 34104

Salinas

1113 Harkins Road, Ste B
Salinas, CA 93901

I’m interested in hosting Brighter Bites next school year, but what are the requirements?

Please click here for a list of requirements. Once you’ve read through them and understand our partnership requirements, proceed to our online application. It should take you 10-15 minutes to complete. Please include the principal/director in this process to ensure their support.

 

Does my site qualify for Brighter Bites?

A site qualifies for Brighter Bites if one of the following is true:

1) 80% or more students/campers receive free or reduced lunch.
2) The site receives Title I funding.
3) 75% or more students/campers live below the national poverty line.

*Please note that additional geographic requirements may be applicable. If you have questions about your site’s eligibility, please contact the appropriate city director above.

 

Who can sign up for Brighter Bites after a school has been accepted?

All families at your site are eligible to participate in the program, regardless of income-level. Some schools may restrict participation to certain grade levels, based on the capacity of the school. Brighter Bites’ produce distributions are modeled after a food co-op or cooperative in which all members contribute, in some way or another, to building a community of health through fresh food. Families contribute by volunteering, taking time to speak with us at distribution about the health benefits of eating fresh produce and how to cook what is in the bags, and using the produce at home while talking to their kids about health! School administrators, faculty, and staff play a different role. Please read our Staff Participation Policy to learn more about their roles.

 

What is CATCH?

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is an evidence-based coordinated health program that has been shown to prevent childhood obesity and launch kids and communities toward healthier lifestyles. CATCH impacts a child’s nutrition knowledge, level of physical activity, classroom environment, and community, by making healthy decisions easy and fun. This coordinated curriculum engages all stakeholders of a child’s life including: parents, teachers, administrative staff, PE coaches, cafeteria staff, and the larger school community. CATCH “Coordination Kits” provide easy access for schools and childcare programs to use the program effectively across all disciplines.

If you’d like more information about CATCH, visit their website or YouTube channel.

What is YUM?

YUM (Youth Understanding MyPlate) focuses on the MyPlate food groups to encourage school-aged children to make healthy food choices. The YUM curriculum recognizes that making healthy food choices is a critical part of living a healthier life.

How does Brighter Bites relate to CATCH and YUM?

Brighter Bites produce boxes help families apply the nutrition ideas at home that kids learn during CATCH/YUM lessons. Our nutrition education handbooks and nutrition education materials for parents also incorporate CATCH/YUM concepts, enabling families to support what their child is learning in the classroom.

What is a Wellness Committee?

Your school’s Wellness Committee is the group that will spearhead your coordinated school health efforts. It is made up of one strong, motivated Wellness Champion, who will act as the team lead, and several supporting committee members. Your Wellness Champion’s role in the committee is like the Principal’s role for the school. They don’t do everything, but they oversee activities to ensure that the CATCH/YUM curriculum is being implemented. The supporting members of the Wellness Committee should represent differing areas of specialty within the school and have an interest in health and should actively help in the implementation of the nutrition education curriculum.

How do I form a Wellness Committee?

To build an effective Wellness team, you will work with your Principal to create a standing committee. You will need to choose a variety of representatives who are enthusiastic and want to actively participate in the school’s Wellness initiatives and inspire others to implement the school health components. Look for that teacher who is always running in a 5K, or the counselor that brings in fresh veggies from their garden. If you already have a committee focused on health and wellness who would like to support CATCH/YUM implementation, even better!

What is the Brighter Bites-CATCH Checklist mentioned under the Nutrition Education Requirements?

The principal or director plays an integral role in the successful implementation of Brighter Bites. Without their active support and oversight, we just can’t do it! Click here to review the checklist.

I’m a teacher with a CATCH Digital login but I can’t remember how to log in and find my lessons.

Visit https://catch.org/users/sign_in to sign in and it will take you to a dashboard where you can easily navigate to find your lessons. Ask your site’s assigned Brighter Bites Program Coordinator for more help should you need it. Remember to track your lessons so that we can measure the impact you and your team members are having on your student’s knowledge about nutrition.

What is a Produce Activity?

A Produce Activity is a nutrition activity taught in the classroom using a set of Brighter Bites boxes. Typically, Brighter Bites secures a fixed number of produce boxes for each school, camp, or community center. Brighter Bites will provide produce boxes to teachers and staff who play an active role in our program, after ensuring that the needs of the students and their families are met. We encourage teachers to utilize their produce boxes in class to conduct Brighter Bites produce activities or to offer a digital produce activity experience for their students through our video library. Remember to track them as well!

How can other school staff participate in the Brighter Bites co-op model?

School staff (including, but not limited to: administrators, office workers, teacher aids, assistants, reading specialists, nurses, janitorial or cafeteria staff) must also contribute to the co-op in order to receive boxes. They can participate by volunteering at the distribution of the produce, helping Brighter Bites’ staff deliver produce boxes to faculty when available who are conducting Produce Activities and teaching CATCH/YUM lessons, or helping our team and the school by taking home extra boxes if there are unclaimed boxes at the end of the distribution window.

Where does the produce come from?

Brighter Bites partners with food banks and other organizations to provide fresh produce for our families. Most of the produce we receive is donated from wholesalers, farmers, and other retailers across the country.

Why are some of the items in my boxes split open/cut/bruised/moldy/rotten/etc.?

Because our produce is mostly donated, it may not always look perfect. Often, the donated fruits and veggies are perfectly edible and nutritious but not “pretty” enough to be sold in a grocery store. Some fruits and veggies may be “weird-looking,” very ripe, or have small bruises. These items are still okay!

Please understand that we follow guidelines from the food banks and Feeding America to determine which produce is acceptable to eat and which is not. We work with volunteers during the bagging process to make sure that any moldy or rotten produce is NOT put in boxes. However, sometimes things slip through unnoticed, and we apologize in advance for that. Feel free to come check with Brighter Bites staff about whether a produce item is rotten or just “different” and still edible. If you did get an item that is rotten, Brighter Bites staff will gladly replace it with an alternate item, depending on availability.

Our First Annual Impact Report is here! 🙌
What's Inside?
- 2020 Milestones 🏆
- Programming Highlights by the Numbers 🔢
- Nutrition Education Data 📈
- Operations During COVID-19 😷
- A Look Forward to 2021 ☀️
- And more! 👏

“We’re proud and thankful to share a great report that reflects the team’s hard work and efforts over the past year. Despite new protocols in place for COVID-19, we worked with our amazing partners around the country to ensure fresh food & nutrition resources were available for children and their families when they needed them the most.”
-Lisa Helfman, Founder & Board Chair

Visit our website at www.brighterbites.org/financials to see the full report featuring the mission that drives us, facts that back up our program methods, and the families and impact that keeps us moving forward. We are so proud of the work that we do, and we hope that you join us in our mission! Here's to looking back at a successful year in 2020 full of impact and to many more years of creating communities of health through fresh food!

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesImpact #nonprofit #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience
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We think our Brighter Bites teachers are really GRAPE! 🍇

Brighter Bites partners with school staff to teach nutrition education lessons, produce activities, and PE activities in the classroom. Nutrition education is an essential piece to our formula, and it takes a school village to help make it happen! THANK YOU to our school staff, principals, teachers, and coaches for all of the work that you do within the school to teach your students about healthy eating. You truly are making such an impact on your Brighter Bites students! Here is a look at what our educators have achieved!
📚Nutrition Education lessons taught: 9,015
🤸‍♀️PE Activities done: 452
🥦Produce Activities executed: 19,493

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Veggies #Vegetables #JoyOfFresh #HaveAPlant #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #WeAreBrighterBites
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❤️Brighter Bites mourns the loss of a beloved friend, colleague, and important member of our team. Willie Woods, Program Coordinator in Houston, Texas, was dependable, good natured, and an enthusiastic giver. Willie was always there for anyone who needed him. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time, and we celebrate his life and impact on everyone he knew.

At Brighter Bites, we support and love each other like family. We celebrate in good times and come together in hard times. We humbly created a fundraising effort to support the needs of Willie's family. Please see the link here and in bio if you are interested in giving. https://gofund.me/3cf1f92c
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Here's the latest on what's happening in the Big Apple! 🍎

🏫Total sites: 13 schools
🙌Total number of families served: 2,600 families
🌽Total pounds of produce distributed: 930,000 lbs
🤝Program partners: Our programming is made possible from partnerships with @cityharvestnyc, @darrigonewyork, @myredrabbit, and of course all our schools and families!
🍍Some family favorite produce in the boxes: plantains, papayas, pineapples, and mangos
🎉Staff highlight: We recently welcomed a long time volunteer into our NYC team as a program associate. We are thrilled to have Jen Bodero on board!
💙Thank you to one of our newest supporters @eifoundation!

@BrighterBitesNYC
#BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesNYC #NYC #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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Did someone say SALSA? 💃

Salsas are great recipes to add more fruits and veggies into your diet. Here are some festive and delicious salsa recipes to add to your recipe rotation:
🥭 Mango Tango Salsa
🌽 Black Bean & Corn Salsa
🧄 Poblano Salsa
🍉 Watermelon Salsa

➡️ For the full recipes check out our website https://brighterbites.org/recipes

#NationalSalsaMonth #WellnessWednesday #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Smoothies #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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🍊 Ever wondered why orange juice is the most popular fruit juice in America?

We think it's because of it's bright color, sweet taste, and it's health benefits! In honor of National Orange Juice Day, we are sharing a few facts about oranges:

🍊Oranges are sweet citrus fruits.
🍊These fruits have long growing seasons from autumn to spring.
🍊They come in many sizes and different shades of orange.
🍊These citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C.

#NationalOrangeJuiceDay #OrangeJuice #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Smoothies #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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❤️🍈🍎🥦
Cutest way to say "Thank you!" to our supporters, partners, volunteers, and friends? The artwork of our little Brighter Biters, of course!

🎨 Credit: Ms. Delacruz's 2nd grade class at Kruse Elementary in Houston

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesBrighterHomes #FreshProduce #EatHealthy #FoodIsMedicine #Fruits #Veggies #Vegetables #JoyOfFresh #HaveAPlant #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #WeAreBrighterBites
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This month, Brighter Bites is recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. At Brighter Bites, we love celebrating cultures through food! Tropical fruits like passion fruit, kumquats, dragon fruit, lychee, and pineapple and vegetables like bok choy, taro root, daikon radish, and Napa cabbage are native to Asian countries and are a delicious way to celebrate this rich culture.

#asianamericanpacificislanderheritagemonth #aapiheritagemonth
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Looking for a RAISIN to smile? 😃🍇

Our Triple Fruit Coleslaw will surely put a smile on your face! This is a kid favorite!!! 🎉

Have your kids involved in preparing this yummy recipe- they can measure out and mix together all of the ingredients.

For this delicious recipe go to our website ➡️ https://brighterbites.org/recipe/triple-fruit-coleslaw/

#NationalRaisinDay #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #VegetarianRecipe #BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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This #ThankfulThursday, we’d like to thank our partner Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas for choosing Brighter Bites for a #HealthyKidsHealthyFamilies grant! Together, we have been able to accomplish some really great work in our Texas communities!💙

We've provided safe distributions to families in Texas and sent home prepacked boxes of produce containing more than 1,000,000 pounds of 85 different varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables during this quarter alone!

Additionally, Brighter Bites held 469 produce distributions attended by 14,733 unique families. While in our Brighter Bites schools, the teachers have taught 1,446 CATCH lessons to 46,222 students!
Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield for helping keep our Brighter Bites families healthy!

#BrighterBites #BlueCrossBlueShieldOfTexas #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation #nonprofit #partnership
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Cheers to brightening your day with a fresh and o so colorful smoothie! 🌞🍎

Smoothies are great recipes that your kids can help with in the kitchen. Have your kids wash the fresh produce, pour in the liquid, and push the blender button!

What better way to brighten up your day than with our Brighter Bites Smoothie? Here's the scoop➡️
🥕INGREDIENTS:
1 red beet, peeled and shredded
1 small apple, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
Handful of fresh or frozen berries, no sugar added
Handful of fresh kale, spinach, or other leafy greens
1 cup cold water

🍓DIRECTIONS:
Wash all fresh produce. Remove kale leaves from stem. Combine all ingredients in blender, and puree until smooth.

#WellnessWednesday #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Smoothies #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesInvolved
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Did you know?

🍈Each week, Brighter Bites provides families with 50-60 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables, along with budget-friendly recipes and tip sheets to get kids cooking in the kitchen.

🍉While it costs a family $0 to participate in Brighter Bites, it also saves them approximately $35 each week on groceries.

👍According to research, by the end of just one year of Brighter Bites families will report:
• Healthier eating and snacking habits
• A significant, long-term increase in the amount of fresh produce consumed
• A significant decrease in the amount of added sugars consumed
• More scratch cooking and family meals
• Smarter grocery purchases

For just $15, you can ensure a family of four has enough fruits and vegetables for an entire month. Give $100 and sponsor a Brighter Bites family for six months, or $200 for a full year!

Head over to our website to help donate to our Brighter Bite communities ➡️ https://www.brighterbites.org/donate/

#HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #BrighterBitesInvolved #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #GetInvolved
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Tomorrow is National Zucchini Bread Day, and we've got the perfect recipe to celebrate! 🍞
Have you tried our Sweet Potato and Zucchini Muffins yet?
🧑‍🍳 This is a great recipe to get your kids in the kitchen this weekend! Have your children wash the fresh produce, measure ingredient, shred produce and spoon the batter into the molds. 👩‍🍳

See the full recipe on our website and GET BAKING! ➡️ https://brighterbites.org/recipe/sweet-potato-zucchini-muffins/

#NationalZucchiniBreadDay #ZucchiniMuffins #WeAreBrighterBites #Fruit #Veggies #EatHealthy #NutritionEducation #FreshProduce #NonProfit #FunFoodExperience #BrighterBitesInvolved #BrighterBitesBrighterHomes
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