Houston, TX – Chelan Fresh has made a semester-long commitment to providing fresh produce to approximately 7,000 Texas families participating in Brighter Bites, the nonprofit that provides families and teachers in underserved communities with fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition education and tracks their dietary behavior change.
With three out of 10 children in the U.S. overweight or obese and children now having a 30% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, Brighter Bites is working to prevent obesity and improve long-term health outcomes in the communities it serves around the U.S.
“We know that less than half of children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily. Brighter Bites is changing that by sending home approximately 50 servings of 8-10 varieties of fresh product weekly,” said Brighter Bites CEO Rich Dachman. “In order to really make a difference, we need more produce industry partners like Chelan Fresh supporting our mission to improve health by changing the dietary behaviors of our families. By receiving more and more industry support, Brighter Bites will help create even more produce consumers and that will help move the needle on children’s health.”
“At Chelan Fresh we have observed an encouraging dynamic of kids naturally gravitating toward healthier snacking options when they are made available,” said Chelan Fresh Director of Marketing Mac Riggan. “If they are only offered snacks like chips and candy bars – then obviously, that is what they are going to crave and ask for. But, good news, kids also love apples! The unique little Rockit™ apples are incredibly crisp, very sweet, and ridiculously delicious. And, they are the perfect size for kids – making them fun to eat! Rockit™ is everything everyone loves about apples – miniaturized into a perfect snackable size.”
Chelan Fresh, one of Washington State’s largest suppliers of apples, pears, and cherries, has committed to providing its proprietary Rockit® apples nearly every week of Brighter Bites programming to families in Austin and Dallas through May. Chelan Fresh began donating these sweet, small, crispy apples to the Brighter Bites Austin program in December. At that time, Chelan Fresh also made a financial donation and sponsored the printing of bright, co-branded, bilingual materials that provided information about the apples and where to buy them.
“Each family typically goes home with 2-3 pounds of apples, and they are loving them,” said Brighter Bites Sourcing Manager Jennifer Boone. “Children are eating them as soon as their parents pick up their produce bags. The apples are a hit. We’re creating a love for fresh produce in children – what could be better.”
Brighter Bites has data-proven outcomes that show that two years after participating in the program, an average Brighter Bites family consumes 19 additional servings of fresh fruits and vegetables over one week. Chelan Fresh decided that partnering with Brighter Bites was a great way to give back to the community and introduce families to kid-friendly, snacking fruit.
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 25 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. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) named Brighter Bites the winner of the 2018 PHA Impact Award. In 2016, Brighter Bites won the Texas Health Champion Award. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit BrighterBites.org.