Houston, TX – The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has brought much uncertainty into all of our lives, and this uncertainty is especially magnified for those who identify as food insecure. With widespread school closures, 25,000 families in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Southwest Florida who normally rely on nonprofit Brighter Bites for weekly produce and nutrition education are now in even greater need of daily nourishment.
Today, Brighter Bites and 99 Cents Only stores are announcing a new initiative aimed at ensuring that all families who are currently enrolled in Brighter Bites within Mesquite ISD schools gain access to fresh produce. Brighter Bites is rolling out the initiative for over 700 families, and coupons will be mailed out today.
The families are currently Brighter Bites participants at the following schools: Cannaday Elementary School, Floyd Elementary School, Hanby Elementary School, Hodges Elementary School, Range Elementary School and Seabourn Elementary School. Families will receive four $25 coupons, each valid for a timed, two-week period. The coupons are valid for produce purchases at the following 99 Cents Only stores:
· 3330 N. Galloway Avenue, Mesquite, TX 75150
· 950 W. Centerville Road, Garland, TX 75041
· 1445 W Buckingham Rd, Garland, TX 75042
· 9009 Bruton Road, Dallas, TX 75217
“Our families need healthy food now more than ever,” said Brighter Bites Dallas Program Director Julie Macpherson. “In addition to our Mesquite ISD school distributions, Brighter Bites will also provide fruits and vegetables to our families through this coupon program. This partnership will give families even more access to fresh food, and we are grateful for 99 Cents Only’s support.”
Under normal circumstances, Brighter Bites works with their families across 100 plus schools in six cities, with each family receiving 25 pounds of fresh, seasonal produce and nutrition education on a weekly basis. Brighter Bites families were actively engaged in the program, and data shows that they were consuming significantly more fresh produce and talking about nutrition more often in their homes, too.
“We have been following the great work of Brighter Bites for years and are impressed with its ability to distribute produce quickly to children and their families,” said Bruce Levine, Chief Merchandising Officer of 99 Cents Only. “We are delighted to participate in this program and to support families in need during these challenging times and in the months ahead.”
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 more than 27 million pounds of produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 275,000 individuals (including teachers) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit www.brighterbites.org.
About 99 Cents Only Stores:
Founded in 1982, 99 Cents Only Stores LLC is the leading operator of extreme value stores in California and the Southwestern United States. 99 Cents currently operates 386 stores located in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. 99 Cents Only Stores LLC offers a broad assortment of name brand and other attractively priced merchandise and compelling seasonal product offerings. For more information, visit www.99only.com.