Prince George’s County, MD – Brighter Bites, a nonprofit program working to provide children with nutrition resources and fresh produce, completed a successful 2020-2021 school year in the Washington, D.C./Prince George’s County areas by providing 2,872 families boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables along with hundreds of nutrition education resources.
The boxes totaled 616,218 pounds and on average, contained 8 to 10 unique produce items. Area programming took place at 10 sites, including elementary schools in Adelphi, Capitol Heights, Glenarden, Hyattsville, Landover, Landover Hills, and Riverdale, and was strengthened by key partner relationships.
“The Brighter Bites program was instrumental in educating our school communities about good nutrition, encouraging families to try new foods, and keeping our community fed, especially during the pandemic when finances and other resources were quite limited for many,” said Valerie Brooks, educator at Cool Spring Elementary School in Adelphi. “Brighter Bites was a blessing to many families here at Cool Spring.”
To additionally benefit teachers and school communities, Brighter Bites provided teachers with CATCH online nutrition lessons, as well as videos around produce-related activities for ease of sharing with students. CATCH, which stands for Coordinated Approach to Child Health, encourages children and their communities to adopt healthier lifestyles, and aligns with Brighter Bites’ mission to distribute fresh food to students in under-resourced communities.
“Brighter Bites in Prince George’s County had a very successful school year despite the logistical challenges due to COVID-19,” said Carolina Moppett, Sr. Program Manager for Brighter Bites’ Washington, D.C.-area operations. “We were so pleased to serve over 2,800 families this year, and to receive such enthusiastic feedback from our participating teachers.”
Major D.C.-area partners include the Capital Area Food Bank and Coastal Sunbelt Produce, which from the start of the program have consistently provided produce and and arranged deliveries to the schools.
“As the Prince George’s County Council Member representing many Brighter Bites families, I am so pleased with the impact the organization is making in our communities,” said Prince George’s County Council Member Dannielle M. Glaros (D-District 3). “The fruits and vegetables, as well as the nutrition education materials that have been distributed, have been so well received and appreciated by all.”
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 over 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 February 2021 Brighter Bites expanded its programming to Salinas, California. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit www.brighterbites.org