Naples, FL – Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that delivers fresh fruits, vegetables and nutrition education resources directly into families’ hands, partnered with Harry Chapin Food Bank and Lipman Family Farms to ensure Southwest Florida families continue to receive produce after the pandemic impacted their communities.
At the beginning of the 2021 semester, the three organizations increased its number of families served to over 930, resulting in more than 266,000 pounds of produce distributed and 10,477 boxes delivered to students, their families, and teachers. Each box contained Brussels sprouts, asparagus, eggplant, green beans, apples, oranges, and other items. Thousands of nutrition education materials were also distributed directly to participating Brighter Bites families along with in-class lessons conducted on a regular basis at schools.
“Brighter Bites is so grateful to Harry Chapin Food Bank and to Lipman Family Farms for their support during this unusual school year,” said Brighter Bites Senior Program Director Mike Pomeroy. “Both organizations stepped up to help as soon as the pandemic crisis hit in 2020, providing produce donations and volunteer assistance. This assistance proved to be essential as we continued to serve families at our six elementary schools in Florida.”
In addition to monetary and product donations, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Lipman Family Farms both provided volunteer support with produce sorting, packing and box distribution. This additional assistance on the ground during this crucial time was much needed and appreciated by Brighter Bites’ staff as well as the elementary schools’ teachers and administrators.
“It was a true collaboration as our organization, Brighter Bites and Lipman Family Farms worked to meet the needs of the community in Southwest Florida during the 2020-2021 school year,” said Harry Chapin Food Bank President and CEO, Richard LeBer.
Brighter Bites, which is based in Houston, is dedicated to creating healthy communities by providing produce and nutrition literacy to families in cities throughout the country. The organization works with families in over 120 school settings in seven cities, with each family receiving approximately 25 pounds of fresh, seasonal produce and nutrition education on a weekly basis.
“We are pleased to be a part of these great initiatives launched by Brighter Bites in the Immokalee/Naples area,” said Jaime Weisinger, Director of Community Relations and Government Relations at Lipman Family Farms. “We value our incredible partnerships with Brighter Bites and Harry Chapin Food Bank, and we look forward to making an even greater impact in the coming years.”
# # #
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 February 2021 Brighter Bites expanded its programming to Salinas, California. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit www.brighterbites.org.
About Lipman Family Foundation:
Lipman Family Farms is a full-service tomato and vegetable company operating in both open-field and protected agriculture. Lipman is the largest open-field tomato grower in North America. Lipman also specializes in greenhouse-grown tomatoes and vegetables, with greenhouse operations in Nebraska, Canada, and Mexico. Lipman’s seed-to-shelf supply chain control – research and development, farming, processing, repacking, logistics and marketing – delivers the consistency and quality that has made Lipman Family Farms North America’s most dependable source of fresh tomatoes and vegetables. The Lipman Family Foundation’s commitment to being “Good from the Ground Up” means creating lasting impact in the communities in which they operate. With a focus on supporting children, education, and hunger relief, they are proud to be involved in a variety of initiatives across the country. Learn more at www.lipmanfamilyfarms.com.
About Harry Chapin Food Bank:
Harry Chapin Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is the largest hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida. The food bank rescues food that would otherwise go to waste and distributes it to children, families, seniors and veterans who are hungry through a series of food distribution programs that feed more than a quarter of a million people each month. Harry Chapin Food bank distributed $59.5 million dollars’ worth of food in fiscal year 2020. Through our food distribution programs, we supplied nearly 34.2 million pounds of food and other grocery items, including 9.6 million pounds of fresh produce. The food is the equivalent of 28.5 million melas distributed to those who are hungry. Our membership with Feeding America enables us to amplify our food and distribution efforts and bring in food from various retail and grocery stores, national food producers and distributors and growers locally, nationally and even internationally. Harry Chapin Food Bank is proud to be named a Blueprint Partner by the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. Harry Chapin Food Bank is also a United Way partner agency. For more information or to make a gift, call 239.334.7007 or visit www.harrychapinfoodbank.org.