Wine for a Cause Raises Over $100,000 for Brighter Bites

Houston, TX – Brighter Bites (BB), in partnership with Produce Marketing Association, hosted Wine for a Cause over Memorial Day Weekend, raising funds to ensure families living in underserved communities are able to access fresh, immune-boosting produce during this time of unprecedented need. 

Wine for a Cause included 48 donors and 311 overall event attendees, and with a low overhead, Brighter Bites was able to keep nearly every dollar raised with participants paying only for what they won. The event used a digital marketing strategy that emphasized free registration, high-end wines and experiences, and participation by industry notables. Top-selling lots included a 750ML bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, a vertical of Joseph Phelps Insignia (2002-2007), and a mini, three-bottle vertical of Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon (2015-2017). 

“Brighter Bites’ Wine for a Cause began as an idea among two produce industry veterans with a love for wine and one common goal: to help at-risk families access the healthy, fresh food they need to survive this crisis and fend off diet-related diseases that are among the greatest risk factors for COVID-19,” said Brighter Bites CEO Rich Dachman.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Brighter Bites had enrolled 25,000 families nationwide in the program across 100 schools in six cities, with each family receiving 25 pounds of fresh produce and nutrition education on a weekly basis. Then COVID-19 hit, schools shuttered, and families lost access to this fresh produce they were dependent on for daily nourishment. 

“Families enrolled in Brighter Bites have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and this fundraiser helped ensure they have the fresh produce they need to stay healthy,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns. “PMA remains a steadfast supporter of Brighter Bites’ mission to connect families with fresh fruits and vegetables as we work together to grow a healthier world.”

The majority of the support for this event came from a number of industry leaders, including Kent Shoemaker, Bruce Taylor, Lisa McNeece, Jim Prevor, David Gill, Jay Pack, John Anderson, Miles Reiter, Paul Mastronardi, and Brighter Bites Board Member Vic Smith. It was especially remarkable for these produce industry leaders to step up at a time when COVID-19 has impacted the supply chain so severely. 

Wine for a Cause was one of the most creative, charitable, caring, and energetic fundraisers I’ve ever witnessed,” said Wegmans Vice-President of Produce and Floral David Corsi. “Hats off to Brighter Bites, the creative minds around this, and the incredible industry notables who donated.”

We need your continued help: If you would like to make a donation to please contact Ragen Doyle ([email protected]). Information may also be found at www.brighterbites.org

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