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.

How does Brighter Bites relate to CATCH?

Brighter Bites produce boxes help 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 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 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 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.

It's Eat Your Vegetables Day, and we'd say that calls for a party! 🎉🎤💃🕺

What vegetable makes you want to turn up the BEET!? 🥦🥒🌽🍆🍅

🎨cred: Ms. Davila's 3rd Grade class at Kruse Elementary in Houston, Texas

#BrighterBites #EatYourVegetablesDay #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #HealthyEating
...

Trying to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and veggies? Here's our favorite PEACH of advice!🍑
Have your kids get hands on in the cooking! Not only are you helping build their confidence and self-esteem, you are also encouraging interest in trying new foods. When kids help out in the kitchen, they have a better sense of where their food comes from and are proud of what they create.
The best part is get both quality time and a delicious meal! 🍽

#BrighterBites #KidsInTheKitchen #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking
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Brighter Bites is rooted in the belief that if we give our kids something better to munch on, they will. And the lives they lead will be as vibrant as the foods they crave.🍍🍎🌽🥕

Brighter Bites has been creating communities of health through fresh food since 2012. Join us in our mission today! ❤️🤝
Volunteer, Intern, Donation, Partnership opportunities and more are on our website➡️ www.brighterbites.org

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #NutritionEducation #Nonprofit #Volunteer
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Ever wonder how a Superhero fuels his/her body? With fruits and veggies, of course! 🥕🍓🍌🥦

🏃‍♂️ This #GlobalRunningDay, we want to remind you that eating fruits and vegetables is an important part of a fueling and supporting a healthy and active lifestyle!

Eating the right kind of foods before and after physical activity can help kids perform their best...like Superhero Strawberry pictured above! Here are some tips!:
• Eat a healthy breakfast to start the day off with energy. Whole-grain cereals or whole-grain muffins and fruits provide the body with carbohydrates for energy.
• Eat lean protein after exercising to help the body recover. Protein is an important nutrient that repairs and builds muscles.

🎨cred: Ms. Szalkowski's 3rd grade class at 212 in New York City

#BrighterBites #NationalFreshFruitandVegetablesMonth #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #HealthyEating
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Happy National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month! 🥦🍓🍊🍌🌽

We hope you love fresh fruits and veggies just as much as they love you! Did you know that eating a variety of fruits and veggies helps to ensure that your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs?

How do you like to eat your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables? Let us know below! ⬇️

#BrighterBites #NationalFreshFruitandVegetablesMonth #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #HealthyEating
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Wishing everyone a Happy Memorial Day! ❤️🤍💙

On #MemorialDay, we honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
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☀️Shining the light on a superstar volunteer in Southwest Florida!

Yuridia has been a dedicated volunteer with our Southwest Florida team for THREE years now! After a long day at work she still manages to have energy to help load produce boxes into our Brighter Bites families vehicles. Yuridia's favorite fruit is grapes! 🍇

Thank you BERRY much, Yuridia and all of our Florida volunteers! 🍓

@BrighterBites_SWFL
#BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesSWFL #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesVolunteer
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ZOOMing in on what our Austin team has been up to! 💻🔍🤩

Our staff and interns have been hosting virtual cooking classes/demos for all of our 18 schools! 👩‍🍳

We had great turnout for the April demos where the team and kids & families who joined made Hulk Smoothies together and then learned about how to cook with more leafy greens. For the May demos, the team focused on making healthy desserts, including fruity parfaits, beet brownies, and banana ice cream! YUM!!
@brighterbitesaustin

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables
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Fact time! 🙌

Asparagus, part of the lily family, is a green, spring vegetable that must be harvested by hand. Asparagus spears may be very thin and delicate or thick and dense. White asparagus is grown by covering the plants with soil so they are not exposed to sunlight. Asparagus is a good source of vitamins C and A, and is also high in folate.💚

#NationalAsparagusDay #Asparagus #Veggies #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #FreshProduce #vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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"Let's be a fruit and vegetable" 🍉🥦🍇

It's National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day, so we thought we'd share a few facts about why you should add more fruits and veggies to your day:
🍊 Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.
🍅 Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
🌽 Fruits and veggies provide fiber that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy.

CHALLENGE: Try a new way to enjoy your fruits and veggies this weekend! Baked, grilled, steamed, mixed...Then comment below on how it went! 😄

🎨 cred: Ms. Zaner's 3rd grade class in Austin, TX

#NationalEatMoreFruitsAndVegetablesDay #FruitsAndVeggies #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #BrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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👋Meet some of our stellar volunteers from NYC! 🤩 🗽 🚖

🍍Saul is a parent volunteer helping Brighter Bites since September 2019. He is always eager to help us set up and clean up after distribution. Saul is well involved in his community and he is always eager to give a hand. He often brings healthy snacks that he bakes at home.

🥦 Jessica (Jadis) is parent volunteer helping Brighter Bites since the beginning of this school year. Not only does she help her home school but also another of our Brighter Bites schools!

🍈 Lola is a parent volunteer that has helped Brighter Bites for over a year when we used to bag our produce. She has great relationship with the school and community.

🥭Carlos is a community volunteer who has been helping our Brighter Bites community for the past few of months. He graciously offered to help us create our communities of health which he helps at 2 school communities. His favorite fruit is Mango and when the weather is cold he kindly brings the team coffee and yummy snacks.

🍅Marta is a community volunteer helping Brighter Bites since last year! She is always available to help where she is needed during distribution. Her favorite fruit is papaya.

We are thankful for these volunteers and their continuous efforts in our community! 👏

@brighterbitesnyc
#BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesNYC #NYC #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesVolunteer
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Our Basic Fruit Jam is anything but basic in flavor!😋

Enjoy this delicious homemade jam on top of your meals such as:
🥞 Breakfast: with your oatmeal, toast, pancakes, yogurt
🥗 Lunch/Dinner: with your salads, meat proteins, marinades
🍨 Dessert: thinned out and frozen for popsicles, in muffins, or even top your banana ice cream!
🎁 it also makes for a great gift!

For the full recipe visit our website ➡️
https://brighterbites.org/recipe/basic-fruit-jam/

#WellnessWednesday #StrawberryMonth #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Smoothies #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesInvolved
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