HOUSTON, TX – Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands, will continue partnering with the Houston Food Bank, its most critical and longest-standing Houston-area partner, to help serve families in need of fresh food.
Throughout the fall of 2020 and into 2021, Brighter Bites and the Houston Food Bank ensured local families received the fresh produce and nutrition education on schedule, even as the area experienced the uncertainty of the pandemic.
When COVID-19 halted Brighter Bites’ model utilizing parent volunteers to pack donated bulk produce, the Houston Food Bank stepped in to help with continued donations of a variety of fresh produce items, warehouse space, and volunteer support to pack produce boxes in their facility.
“Our Brighter Bites community is so grateful to the Houston Food Bank for its long-standing willingness to help, and its flexibility as we all navigate the evolving needs of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brighter Bites CEO Rich Dachman. “The Houston Food Bank’s ability to adapt its food supply chain, grant us warehouse space within its facilities, and operate so nimbly, allowed us to continue our work to distribute fresh produce to students, their families, and teachers in Houston.”
Since Brighter Bites 2020-2021 school year programming began in September, the Houston Food Bank has donated over 1.2 million pounds of fresh produce to ensure all 11,000 Houston-area Brighter Bites families received the immune-boosting produce they so critically need during the pandemic.
Brighter Bites and the Houston Food Bank hope to see even more growth this spring with so many efficient systems already in place. Volunteers from both organizations familiar with sorting, packing and distributing the donated fruits and vegetables, will be ready to continue the organizations’ missions of serving families in the greater Houston area.
“Houston Food Bank and Brighter Bites have a shared goal to provide nutritious fresh produce to the community and those impacted by food insecurity,” said Brian Greene, president/CEO of the Food Bank. “Our work is not just critical during the pandemic but beyond, and after a strong eight-year relationship, I am confident that we will continue to expand our reach throughout Houston even after the pandemic subsides.”
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About Brighter Bites:
Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschool, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided nearly 40 million pounds of produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 475,000 individuals (including teachers) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. In 2021 Brighter Bites will expand its programming to Salinas, California. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit www.brighterbites.org.
About the Houston Food Bank:
Houston Food Bank’s mission is to provide food for better lives. In the last fiscal year, which includes COVID-19 response, we provided access to 159 million nutritious meals in 18 counties in southeast Texas through our 1,500 community partners of food pantries, soup kitchens, social service providers and schools. Filling gaps on plates, we have a strong focus on healthy foods and fresh produce. In collaboration with our community, we advocate for policy change and racial equity, and promote dialogue on ways to increase access to food and to improve the lives of those in our communities, including services and connections to programs that address the root causes of hunger and are aimed at helping families achieve long-term stability, nutrition education, job training, health management, and help with securing state-funded assistance. We are a resource for individuals and families in times of hardship. Houston Food Bank works alongside our partner food banks in Montgomery County, Galveston County and Brazos Valley. Houston Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, with a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. Visit us online. Website: houstonfoodbank.org; Facebook: www.facebook.com/thehoustonfoodbank; Twitter: @houstonfoodbank; Instagram: @houstonfoodbank; YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/houstonfoodbank