The 2023-2024 school year application is currently closed for most of our cities. If you are a school in Phoenix or Southwest Florida, you may apply here.
Interested in applying for the Brighter Bites program in the 2024-2025 school year? Please fill out our inquiry form, and we will reach out to you when the application is ready!
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.
How does Brighter Bites relate to CATCH?
Brighter Bites produce helps families apply the nutrition ideas at home that kids learn during CATCH lessons. Our nutrition education handbooks and nutrition education materials for parents also incorporate CATCH concepts, enabling families to support what their child is learning in the classroom.
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 here for a quick list of ways to promote Brighter Bites on your campus.
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 CATCH Lessons and CATCH P.E. Activities so that we can measure the impact you and your team members have on your student’s knowledge about nutrition.
What is a Produce Activity?
A Produce Activity is a nutrition activity taught in the classroom using Brighter Bites produce. Typically, Brighter Bites secures a fixed amount of produce for each school, camp, or community center. Brighter Bites will provide produce for 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 in class to conduct Brighter Bites produce activities.
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 produce. They can participate by volunteering at the distribution of the produce, helping Brighter Bites’ staff deliver produce to faculty when available who are conducting Produce Activities and teaching CATCH lessons, or helping our team and the school by taking home extra produce if there is any unclaimed produce 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 there imperfections among my produce items?
Brighter Bites provides free fresh produce from generous donors and growers to thousands of families across the country. Some of this produce may look different from food you see in a grocery store. It could be a two-legged carrot, an overripe banana, or a slightly bruised apple. These types of items may not look perfect, but they are safe and nutritious. Please understand that Brighter Bites staff and volunteers are trained to identify and discard unacceptable produce. Some spoiled fruits or
veggies may slip through unnoticed, however, and we apologize for this. We invite you to check with Brighter Bites staff whenever you have a question about an item in your bag. If you do receive a rotten fruit or vegetable, please discard and let us know the next week.