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Brighter Bites enrollment is for school year 2020-2021 is 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

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.

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation created a great video to explain the impact of CATCH in a school environment. A health-conscious environment in conjunction with access to fresh produce and a fun food experience builds a community of health. If you’d like more information about CATCH, visit their website or YouTube channel.

How does Brighter Bites relate to CATCH?

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

What is a CATCH Committee?

Your school’s CATCH Committee is the group that will spearhead your coordinated school health efforts. It is made up of one strong, motivated CATCH Champion, who will act as the team lead, and several supporting committee members. Your CATCH 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 curriculum is being implemented. The supporting members of the CATCH 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 CATCH curriculum.

How do I form a CATCH Committee?

To build an effective CATCH 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 CATCH initiatives and inspire others to implement the CATCH 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 take on CATCH, 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 too: How to Track Produce Activities and CATCH 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 bags. Every week during the 16 weeks of Brighter Bites programming in the fall and spring, we provide a set of bags to main classroom and Special Education teachers and participating PE/Music/Art teachers so they can use them as hands-on tools for conversations about fresh produce in the classroom before the kids take home their own bags. Remember to track them too: How to Track Produce Activities and CATCH lessons

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 bags. They can participate by volunteering at either bagging or distribution of the produce, helping Brighter Bites’ staff deliver produce bags to faculty who are doing Produce Activities and teaching CATCH lessons, or helping our team and the school by taking home extra bags if there are unclaimed sets of bags 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 bags 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 bags. 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.

Because mac and cheese can be both delicious and nutritious! Our Crafty Mac 'n Cheese includes some hidden veggies in the creamy sauce. Can you guess what vegetables we use?
#nationalmacandcheeseday #macncheese #BrighterBites #freshproduce #eathealthy #foodismedicine #veggies #vegetables #JoyofFresh #HaveaPlant
...

Ok y’all - these Kingsted masks are our favorite. We’re delivering food to more than 50,000 families each week across the US, so we needed some that were comfortable, breathable and helped tell our story. For every mask sold, they’re donating one to communities in need! ...

Creating healthy communities, the core of Brighter Bites, includes treating all people equally, with dignity and respect. Brighter Bites stands alongside our Black families, teachers, and staff, and we will not tolerate racism, discrimination or hate. ...

Creating healthy communities includes treating all people with dignity and respect. Brighter Bites stands with the communities we serve, where racism, discrimination, and hate have no place. ...

Creating healthy communities includes treating all people with dignity and respect. Brighter Bites stands with the communities we serve, where racism, discrimination, and hate have no place. ...

Brighter Bites is thrilled to announce our wine for a cause virtual event was a success! With your help, we raised more than $100,000 to support our COVID19 Emergency Initiatives in Houston, Dallas, Austin, NYC, Washington, D.C., and SWFL! A big thanks to the Produce Marketing Association for their unwavering support of Brighter Bites. Our hearts are full. ...

Happy Saturday, all!
Thank you to everyone who logged on last night and helped us kick off night one of Brighter Bites Wine for a Cause. The bidding has begun, and we're already 36% towards our total goal of $150,000 — with three more days to go! We’re excited to keep the fun going the rest of the weekend! If you haven’t already registered, the auction registration link is in our bio!
#wineforacause #wine #freshproduce
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Tonight we are proud to feature another one of our amazing donors, Silver Oak Cellars. Silver Oak began over a handshake between two friends with a bold vision: focus on one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, aged exclusively in American oak and worthy of cellaring for decades to come.⠀

Today, Silver Oak farms more than 400 acres of vines in Napa Valley and Alexander Valley with a leading-edge approach toward farming and viticulture, and the softest possible impact on natural resources and the environment. Silver Oak has been cited as one of a dozen California wineries which "have reached cult status" for its Cabernet Sauvignon production, and occupies an important niche in California's wine industry.⠀

In 2016, ten years after a fire destroyed their historic Oakville winery, Silver Oak's new Oakville winery became the first commercial winery in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Platinum Certification for efficient energy use. ⠀

You can bid on several Silver Oak vintages in less than 48 hours! Registration link in bio.
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Wine for a Cause wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our incredible donors! From now until the silent auction goes live Friday at 5:00 PM ET (REGISTRATION LINK IN BIO), we're going to be featuring a few of the vintners and oenophiles whose support has been critical in making our virtual event a success -- starting with Gargiulo Vineyards.⠀

Since their first commercial release in 2000, Gargiulo Vineyards has quietly taken its place among the most highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Napa Valley. Jeff Gargiulo and his wife, Valerie, founded their establishment in the early nineties after more than a decade prior of inspiration and coaching from Valerie’s cousins, who were esteemed Napa winemakers. Over the years they pursued their quest to create incredible wine from their now two vineyard locations in Oakville–a hands-on operation that consists of Jeff, Valerie, daughter April, and son-in-law Mitch. ⠀

You will find Gargiulo Vineyards' 2016 Oakville Sessions Cab, 2016 G Major 7 Study Cab, and their 2017 Money Road Ranch Cab featured in our auction inventory, as well as a Gargiulo Vineyard Tasting for six people! Thank you, Jeff and Valerie!
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The Brighter Bites Fundraiser Wine for a Cause, co-hosted by Produce Marketing Association (PMA), is quickly approaching! Registration is fast and free. Download the Givi app and you're all set to participate. ⠀

From Scarecrow Wine and Screaming Eagle Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, to Dominus Winery and Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia, we have procured bottles and cases from some of the finest wine collections in the world that will be available for bidding starting Friday, May 22nd at 5:00 PM ET. One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit Brighter Bites and our COVID-19 relief initiatives.
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Parents and care givers - are you looking for ways to talk about COVID-19 with your kids? We've got you covered with these infographics from the @covid19literacy. For more great fact sheets, For more great resources, go to http://brighterbites.org/family-resources. ...

YardPeeps has made these amazing signs to honor frontline and essential workers who are making our community run while others shelter at home! Proceeds benefit Brighter Bites programs nationwide!⠀

YardPeeps has sold more than 900 signs already to people living in 23 different states and Washington, D.C.!⠀

They are $20 each! Order on http://Yardpeeps.com. Thank you!!
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Join Brighter Bites for Wine for a Cause, a virtual silent auction on Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25, 2020, to raise funds that will help provide fresh fruits and vegetables for tens of thousands of food insecure households nationwide that have been hit hardest by COVID-19. Registration link in bio and here: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/brighterbites/ ...

We ❤️ our volunteers! “We took this picture on our first day at RCMA Immokalee Community School in Southwest Florida. Parents, custodians, the principal, the school counselor, the Director of National School Lunch Programs, and countless others came to help that day. In this picture, you see Patti Young, the Director of National School Lunch Programs. She has been a consistent presence from the very beginning, helping us in more ways than we can count, like so many others. We are grateful to all our volunteers from RCMA. Thank you for supporting us, and we can't wait to see you all again!” 🍊🍅🍓
-Rosmery Garcia, Program Coordinator in Southwest Florida
@brighterbites_swfl
#throwbackthursday #volunteerappreciation #brighterbites
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At Brighter Bites distributions in Houston, we are part of an incredible partnership with the Houston Food Bank and the YMCA-Greater Houston Area. Now we are honored to have the support of the National Guard, which is assisting the food bank and its food distribution partners for 45 days. We are honored to work with such selfless men and women to help feed our families in the Houston community! ...