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a good thing
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The Brighter Bites application for school year 2021-2022 is available now! Please complete the application here
by April 30, 2021.

For sites interested in applying for summer 2021, please complete the application here by April 30, 2021.

Please reach out to your city contact below with any questions.

Houston

535 Portwall St
Houston, TX 77029

Dallas

1808 S. Good Latimer Expy
Dallas, TX 75226

Austin

9715 Burnet Rd, #400, Bldg #7
Austin, TX 78758

NYC

5501 2nd St
Long Island City, NY 11101

Washington, D.C.

4900 Puerto Rico Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20017

Southwest Florida

3940 Prospect Ave, #101
Naples, FL 34104

Salinas

1113 Harkins Road, Ste B
Salinas, CA 93901

I’m interested in hosting Brighter Bites next school year, but what are the requirements?

Please click here for a list of requirements. Once you’ve read through them and understand our partnership requirements, proceed to our online application. It should take you 10-15 minutes to complete. Please include the principal/director in this process to ensure their support.

 

Does my site qualify for Brighter Bites?

A site qualifies for Brighter Bites if one of the following is true:

1) 80% or more students/campers receive free or reduced lunch.
2) The site receives Title I funding.
3) 75% or more students/campers live below the national poverty line.

*Please note that additional geographic requirements may be applicable. If you have questions about your site’s eligibility, please contact the appropriate city director above.

 

Who can sign up for Brighter Bites after a school has been accepted?

All families at your site are eligible to participate in the program, regardless of income-level. Some schools may restrict participation to certain grade levels, based on the capacity of the school. Brighter Bites’ produce distributions are modeled after a food co-op or cooperative in which all members contribute, in some way or another, to building a community of health through fresh food. Families contribute by volunteering, taking time to speak with us at distribution about the health benefits of eating fresh produce and how to cook what is in the bags, and using the produce at home while talking to their kids about health! School administrators, faculty, and staff play a different role. Please read our Staff Participation Policy to learn more about their roles.

 

What is CATCH?

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is an evidence-based coordinated health program that has been shown to prevent childhood obesity and launch kids and communities toward healthier lifestyles. CATCH impacts a child’s nutrition knowledge, level of physical activity, classroom environment, and community, by making healthy decisions easy and fun. This coordinated curriculum engages all stakeholders of a child’s life including: parents, teachers, administrative staff, PE coaches, cafeteria staff, and the larger school community. CATCH “Coordination Kits” provide easy access for schools and childcare programs to use the program effectively across all disciplines.

If you’d like more information about CATCH, visit their website or YouTube channel.

What is YUM?

YUM (Youth Understanding MyPlate) focuses on the MyPlate food groups to encourage school-aged children to make healthy food choices. The YUM curriculum recognizes that making healthy food choices is a critical part of living a healthier life.

How does Brighter Bites relate to CATCH and YUM?

Brighter Bites produce boxes help families apply the nutrition ideas at home that kids learn during CATCH/YUM lessons. Our nutrition education handbooks and nutrition education materials for parents also incorporate CATCH/YUM concepts, enabling families to support what their child is learning in the classroom.

What is a Wellness Committee?

Your school’s Wellness Committee is the group that will spearhead your coordinated school health efforts. It is made up of one strong, motivated Wellness Champion, who will act as the team lead, and several supporting committee members. Your Wellness Champion’s role in the committee is like the Principal’s role for the school. They don’t do everything, but they oversee activities to ensure that the CATCH/YUM curriculum is being implemented. The supporting members of the Wellness Committee should represent differing areas of specialty within the school and have an interest in health and should actively help in the implementation of the nutrition education curriculum.

How do I form a Wellness Committee?

To build an effective Wellness team, you will work with your Principal to create a standing committee. You will need to choose a variety of representatives who are enthusiastic and want to actively participate in the school’s Wellness initiatives and inspire others to implement the school health components. Look for that teacher who is always running in a 5K, or the counselor that brings in fresh veggies from their garden. If you already have a committee focused on health and wellness who would like to support CATCH/YUM implementation, even better!

What is the Brighter Bites-CATCH Checklist mentioned under the Nutrition Education Requirements?

The principal or director plays an integral role in the successful implementation of Brighter Bites. Without their active support and oversight, we just can’t do it! Click here to review the checklist.

I’m a teacher with a CATCH Digital login but I can’t remember how to log in and find my lessons.

Visit https://catch.org/users/sign_in to sign in and it will take you to a dashboard where you can easily navigate to find your lessons. Ask your site’s assigned Brighter Bites Program Coordinator for more help should you need it. Remember to track your lessons so that we can measure the impact you and your team members are having on your student’s knowledge about nutrition.

What is a Produce Activity?

A Produce Activity is a nutrition activity taught in the classroom using a set of Brighter Bites boxes. Typically, Brighter Bites secures a fixed number of produce boxes for each school, camp, or community center. Brighter Bites will provide produce boxes to teachers and staff who play an active role in our program, after ensuring that the needs of the students and their families are met. We encourage teachers to utilize their produce boxes in class to conduct Brighter Bites produce activities or to offer a digital produce activity experience for their students through our video library. Remember to track them as well!

How can other school staff participate in the Brighter Bites co-op model?

School staff (including, but not limited to: administrators, office workers, teacher aids, assistants, reading specialists, nurses, janitorial or cafeteria staff) must also contribute to the co-op in order to receive boxes. They can participate by volunteering at the distribution of the produce, helping Brighter Bites’ staff deliver produce boxes to faculty when available who are conducting Produce Activities and teaching CATCH/YUM lessons, or helping our team and the school by taking home extra boxes if there are unclaimed boxes at the end of the distribution window.

Where does the produce come from?

Brighter Bites partners with food banks and other organizations to provide fresh produce for our families. Most of the produce we receive is donated from wholesalers, farmers, and other retailers across the country.

Why are some of the items in my boxes split open/cut/bruised/moldy/rotten/etc.?

Because our produce is mostly donated, it may not always look perfect. Often, the donated fruits and veggies are perfectly edible and nutritious but not “pretty” enough to be sold in a grocery store. Some fruits and veggies may be “weird-looking,” very ripe, or have small bruises. These items are still okay!

Please understand that we follow guidelines from the food banks and Feeding America to determine which produce is acceptable to eat and which is not. We work with volunteers during the bagging process to make sure that any moldy or rotten produce is NOT put in boxes. However, sometimes things slip through unnoticed, and we apologize in advance for that. Feel free to come check with Brighter Bites staff about whether a produce item is rotten or just “different” and still edible. If you did get an item that is rotten, Brighter Bites staff will gladly replace it with an alternate item, depending on availability.

We think our interns are kind of a FIG deal! 🌟

Intern with us!
🍎Brighter Bites offers unpaid internships to students and non-students interested in public health, nutrition, nonprofit work, and more! We invite you to join our program staff in the field or work behind the scenes building our brand and developing relationships. Our interns are exposed to all components of Brighter Bites to gain a well-rounded understanding of how a public health community nutrition nonprofit operates.

Interested in applying for an internship opportunity? Check out our website for more information! https://www.brighterbites.org/intern-with-us/

#HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #BrighterBitesInvolved #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesIntern #BBHouston #BBDallas #BBAustin #NutritionStudent
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Happy National Garlic Day! 🧄

Did you know that garlic contains a compound called allium that has health benefits such for the cardiovascular, immune, inflammatory, digestive, and detoxification systems in the body? So many reasons to enjoy this veggie!

Our Poblano Salsa is one of our favorite recipes featuring garlic! 😃 See the recipe on our website along with more recipes featuring garlic ➡️
https://brighterbites.org/recipe/poblano-salsa/

#NationalGarlicDay #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #VegetarianRecipe #BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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Happy Day of the Mushroom! 🍄

Today we share our delicious Turkey Mushroom Burgers, perfect to try this weekend! 🍄🍔Adding mushrooms to the ground turkey adds a ton of flavor and nutrition....and the best part is that your kids will never know you snuck in a veggie! Make dinner fun and let each family member pick a topping! Our favorite toppings are tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grilled onions, and avocado!

Find this recipe along with other delicious recipes on our website ➡️https://brighterbites.org/recipe/turkey-mushroom-burgers/

#DayOfTheMushroom #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesInvolved
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🍌Going BANANAS for #NationalBananaDay!🍌

We've got a PEELING that you'll like our Banana Ice Cream recipe! 😋
Get the whole family involved and have everyone pick their toppings! Here is the recipe➡️

INGREDIENTS:
10 very ripe bananas
½ cup low-fat milk
¼ cup honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:
Peel bananas and freeze overnight in a freezer bag. Remove the bananas from the freezer and blend in blender or food processor until smooth. Slowly add the remaining ingredients and blend until the bananas have a “frozen yogurt” consistency. (If you have an ice cream maker, pour mixture into maker and churn until there is an “ice cream” texture.) Serve immediately or store in the freezer for up to one week.

#NationalBananaDay #BananaIcecream #Fruit #EatHealthy #HealthyDessert
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Eat well & keep moving! 🥗🚴‍♀️
While eating lots of fruits and vegetables is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, being physically active is important too!👍
@who recommends that all healthy adults do 30 minutes/day of physical activity, and children should be physically active for 1 hour/day.

Here are some fun ideas to move around:
👟Have a friendly competition of jumping rope.
💃Have a dance party to your favorite music. 🕺
🚶‍♂️Play backyard games like tag or frisbee. 🚶‍♀️

#WellnessWednesday #HealthyAtHome #BeActive #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #CATCH
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Brighter Bites is creating demand for fresh produce🍐🍍🍅🥕🍑

Each week of programming, Brighter Bites sends home ~50 servings of fruits and veggies to the families we serve. We could not do this without the produce industry’s expertise, logistical know-how, and fresh product!

Have the produce expertise and want to be a part of our mission? We'd love to see how we can partner!➡️ https://brighterbites.org/produce-partners/

#BrighterBitesInvolved #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesVolunteer
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Meet THREE amazing volunteers who have made an impact in the Austin community by volunteering with Brighter Bites!🤩

🥦 Judith has been volunteering with Brighter Bites since January 2021. She volunteers at 2 of our Austin school communities, she discovered us through Austin Acts of Kindness. Judith's favorite part of participating with Brighter Bites is seeing the smiling faces when she helps load cars with boxes of fresh produce.🍊

🍍 Rogelio has been volunteering with Brighter Bites for the past 8 weeks! He loves the feeling of being helpful through volunteering for Brighter Bites. His favorite fruits are pineapples and avocados. 🥑

🥭 Julie has been volunteering with Brighter Bites since Summer 2020. She helps us by making it easier to transport our fruits and vegetables for our walking families by putting their produce in bags. Her favorite part about volunteering with Brighter Bites is being able to interact with families during distribution. 😄

We are so grateful for these volunteers and more! Thank you for all that you do!

@brighterbitesaustin
#BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesVolunteer
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I don't know about you, but I love fruits and vegetables from my head TO-MA-TOES🍅!

This #NationalFreshTomatoDay, we are sharing our Black Bean & Corn Salsa. It's a salsa the whole family will enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
1 (15oz) can corn (no salt added)
1 (15oz) can black beans (no salt added)
6 Tomatoes 🍅
1 Bunch cilantro
4 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
2 Avocados

DIRECTIONS:
Drain corn and black beans and place in a bowl. Chop tomatoes and cilantro, then add to the beans and corn. Add lime juice, salt, and olive oil and mix. Lastly, cube and add avocados. Enjoy!

Download the recipe on our website ➡️ https://brighterbites.org/recipe/black-bean-corn-salsa/

#NationalFreshTomatoDay #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #VegetarianRecipe #BrighterBitesImpact #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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Got what it takes to be a Brighter Bites volunteer?

We have ✌️two ways that you can get involved!
Interested in getting your hands dirty and packing our boxes full of produce? Join us for a Produce Boxing! 📦🌽🥔🍋

Interested in helping us distribute produce boxes full of fresh fruits and vegetables to our families? Help us at a Produce Distribution! 🚗🚶‍♀️🥦

Visit our website to find the right volunteer shift for YOU!➡️ https://brighterbites.org/volunteer/

#BrighterBitesInvolved #BrighterBites #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy #BrighterBitesVolunteer
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Brighter Bites is creating communities of health through fresh food, and you can be a part of it! 🥦🍉🍊🥑🌽🍎

Looking to learn more, support our work, AND get cooking? Join us for our upcoming event!
It's a virtual, family-friendly culinary experience with Marcia Smart of @SmartintheKitchen and hosted by Brighter Bites’ Founder Lisa Helfman, Board Member Scott McClelland, and Houston Life Co-Host Courtney Zavala

What's on the menu? 😋
Strawberry Mojito (cocktail)
Spring Pea and Leek Tartine
Mixed Greens with Homemade Salad Dressing
Rigatoni Kale Pasta
Chocolate and Berry Board

This hands-on, stay-at-home event will benefit Brighter Bites’ critical work of providing fresh produce and nutrition education to nearly 30,000 families nationwide. There are a few ticket levels 🎟, so please visit our website and see how you'd like to join in on the fun! ➡️
www.brighterbites.org/smartinthekitchen

We can't wait to spend the evening with you! 🎉
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Who says healthy eating can't be fun? 🍊
Here at Brighter Bites, we believe that healthy eating should be fun! Our DC team is taking our distributions to whole new level of healthy and fun engagement. Here is a peek at some of the healthy characters that are popping up at our DC distributions!...Now that is what we call fun AND healthy!! 😄

🥒Our #TuesdayTip today is make healthy food fun! Kids eat with their eyes first, so make the plate colorful and fun, and don't be afraid to play with your food! The more engaged kids are with healthy foods, the more likely they are to try new things. 🥗

@BrighterBitesDC
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesDC #TuesdayTip #WeAreBrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #Nonprofit #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience #JoyOfFresh #EatHealthy
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