Our Story

How a spurned slice of cake sparked a new kind of co-op.

 

 

Two Women,
One Very
Bright Idea

 

Lisa Helfman & Dr. Shreela Sharma
Founders of Brighter Bites

 

For several years, Lisa Helfman and her family took part in a weekly fruit and vegetable co-op, and she watched her children’s eating habits dramatically transform. So much so that her little boy turned down a piece of cake at a birthday party, craving instead the blueberries he’d grown fond of eating at home.

 

Like most moms, Lisa realized this was a fairly significant decision for a six-year-old. She wondered what kind of influence regular access to fresh produce might have on all children, especially if it were free to families.

She was inspired to replicate this type of positive change in underserved communities identified as “food deserts,” or areas where access to grocery stores stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables is sorely limited. Because nutrition education in these communities is often equally lacking, Lisa’s vision was to bring a produce co-op to schools in these neighborhoods that included an educational component.

 

 

To start, she created a collaborative partnership with Dr. Shreela Sharma, an expert in nutrition and a professor of epidemiology at UTHealth School of Public Health, and they launched the program now known as Brighter Bites.

Since its inception in 2012, Brighter Bites has delivered more than 40,000,000 pounds of fresh produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 475,000 individuals (including teachers) in multiple cities across the country.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) recently named Brighter Bites the winner of the 2018 PHA Impact Award. In 2016, Brighter Bites won the Texas Health Champion Award.

Did you know that a healthy diet can impact a student's academic performance, energy, and focus?

Let's get this school year off to a healthy start for kids across the country! Your donation makes a direct impact on the families we serve-Brighter Bites provides free access to fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and healthy tips and tools to thousands of families across the country.

We cannot wait to partner with you in our mission of creating communities of health through fresh food! Link in bio!

#BrighterMindsBrighterBites #BrighterBites
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Looking for some healthy lunchbox ideas? We've got you covered! 🍱🥪🍎

Easy, portable lunchbox ideas ➡️
• Sandwiches or rollups using peanut butter or lean deli meat like turkey on a whole wheat pita 🥙
• String cheese, yogurt, hard-boiled egg, hummus, and tuna salad are great snacks 🧀🥚
• Easily-transportable fruits and veggies: apples, bananas, baby carrots, celery sticks,
cherry tomatoes, grapes, or berries 🍎🍌🍇
• Almonds or other nuts and dried fruit make an energy packed and nutritious treat 🥜

#HealthyLunchbox #BackToSchool2021 #BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables
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Houston Friends! 12 days left to vote!

Did you see in @Target Circle that you can vote for Brighter Bites as your community partner of choice? From now until the end of September, you can cast your vote! Make a difference in the lives of thousands of families all while shopping! Log in and vote today! www.target.com/circle/community-voting

Happy shopping! ❤️🛍🎯
#TargetCircle #NonprofitPartner
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Another successful week of programming down! 🙌 Here's a glimpse at some of our kick-off distributions in our Texas cities!

@brighterbiteshou @brighterbitesdallas @brighterbitesaustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #BrighterBitesDallas #BrighterBitesAustin #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience
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This recipe might just GUAC your world! 💚🥑😎 The sweet pop of corn will have you smiling ear to ear 🌽🌽!

See the full recipe here➡️ https://brighterbites.org/recipe/corn-guacamole/
#NationalGuacamoleDay #BrighterBites #HealthyRecipe #HealthyEating #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #Guacamole
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Today we kick off the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans.
We recognize the roles Hispanic and Latino Americans play in our communities and use this month to observe, honor, and appreciate their achievements and most of all, their rich culture!

#NationalHispanicHeritageMonth
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Join our mission and make a direct impact on thousands of families across the country!

From September 7 – October 31 every dollar donated, big or small, will go toward Brighter Bites' $50,000 goal to help overcome the lack of access children have to healthy fruits and vegetables and nutrition education, and ultimately to provide a more equitable community that fosters a healthy mind, body, and environment.

Link in bio!
#BrighterMindsBrighterBites #BrighterBites
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Back-to-School time is here, and our #TuesdayTips will help make the school year a little healthier!

Here are a few tips on how to make healthy foods more fun!
• Look for food in bright colors. 🍒🍇🥭
• Cut your fruit and veggies in fun shapes. 🥦🍉🍍
• Kids love “finger foods”! 🍓🍌🍇

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #HealthyTip #HealthySnacks
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Thumbs up for healthy foods! 👍

We love seeing kids enjoy eating fresh fruits and veggies! When kids have a hand in preparing foods, they are more likely to try new foods.
#KidsTakeOverTheKitchenDay
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Wrapping up a week of successful fall distributions! 🙌
Programming is up and running in five of our cities, and we could not be more excited! 🤩🍇🥦🍊🍅🥬

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience
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A new school year is here, and we have big plans!
Expected Impact for the 2021-22 School Year:
🏤 138 Schools
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 33,570 Families
🍓 10,742,400 Pounds of Fresh Produce
📚38,640 CATCH Lessons
🥕77,280 Produce Activities

Join our mission of creating communities of health through fresh food! See how you can be a part at the links in our bio!

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation #Volunteer
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Wishing all who celebrate Rosh Hashanah a good and sweet New Year. Shanah Tovah! 🍯🍎

#RoshHashanah #ShanahTovah
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Would it be too cheesy to say that we think these mini pizzas are really GRATE?! 🧀🍕
It's #NationalCheesePizzaDay and we think you need to try these healthy zucchini pizzas that are just too cute!
🍕https://brighterbites.org/recipe/zucchini-pizzas/

#BrighterBites #ZucchiniPizza #HealthyRecipe #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #FreshProduce #Vegetables #NutritionEducation
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Houston Friends!

Did you see in @Target Circle that you can vote for Brighter Bites as your community partner of choice? From now until the end of September, you can cast your vote! Make a difference in the lives of thousands of families all while shopping! Log in and vote today! www.target.com/circle/community-voting

Happy shopping! ❤️🛍🎯
#TargetCircle #NonprofitPartner
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Happy Labor Day weekend! 🎉
We've got you covered this long weekend with easy-to-make recipes that are sure to please the whole family!

Visit our website for these recipes and more!
"Cool as a Cucumber" and Melon Salad
Brighter Bites Smoothie
Smoky Greens
Black Bean Dip

#HappyLaborDay #LaborDay2021
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Do you love blueberries just as much as we do?💙
We love eating blueberries as a snack, in salads, on yogurt, or blended into popsicles!
Blend fresh blueberries with water or milk, pour into popsicle molds, and place in the freezer. Allow to freeze for at least 3 hours! Enjoy this sweet and healthy treat!

#NationalBlueberryPopsicleDay #BrighterBites #HealthyRecipe #HealthyEating #FreshProduce #Fruits
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Hope your Monday has been extra sweet! 🍍
We can't wait to get our first fall distributions started this week in Salinas, California!
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