BRIGHTER BITES ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAM LAUNCH IN LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2022) – Brighter Bites, a national nonprofit that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands, announces a new partnership with produce supplier Food Forward to add Los Angeles as the eighth location where the organization will serve students and families. This partnership is made possible through funding from CalFresh Healthy Living, University of California a SNAP-Ed program.
Through this expansion, Brighter Bites aims to improve the health of students and families in the Los Angeles area by providing nutrition education and access to free and fresh produce weekly, along with tips on how to store and cook the fruits and vegetables properly. This will be the second location in California that Brighter Bites serves, following Salinas (2021), with additional programs anticipated to launch later this year.
“We are thrilled to be able to further our reach in California,” said Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites. “We are extremely thankful for the backing from Food Forward and our other local partners in the greater Los Angeles area along with the produce industry as a whole, and look forward to continuing to grow our reach across the country.”
The arrival of Brighter Bites in this market is made possible through the support of several key partners, including Food Forward, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, and New Heights Charter School. Food Forward will support these Los Angeles schools through produce procurement of 6,000 to 12,000 pounds of fresh produce per week and provide logistical support.
“The launch of this new partnership with Brighter Bites allows Food Forward to leverage our food and environmental expertise by meeting communities where they are to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to families in underserved areas,” said Rick Nahmias, Founder & CEO of Food Forward. “Through our plant based model, we hope to build awareness on health equity, by educating communities about their own health, along with the environment and economic impact of their food choices.”
Food Forward uses a mix of staff and volunteer led programs to recover and distribute upwards of 60+ million pounds of fresh produce to community partners that serve people experiencing food insecurity. Since 2009 they have distributed over 225 million pounds of produce that would otherwise have gone to waste and have won multiple awards for their innovation, leadership, and commitment to health equity.
“What I like about the nutrition education is that it’s super easy and accessible. Getting produce into the classroom was really exciting for the kids as well as the teachers!” said Yessenia Rivas-Hernandez, Family Services Coordinator, Camino Nuevo Castellanos Charter Academy. “We’re already seeing Brighter Bites making a positive impact on our community as families are talking about what they are going to make with the produce provided.”
To date, Brighter Bites has partnered with six Los Angeles-based schools which will serve around 900 families with over 144,000 pounds of fresh produce. In addition, the organization has scheduled 120 nutrition education lessons to support the community in its quest for better health decisions. These numbers are expected to grow throughout the year, and beyond.
Since launching in 2012, Brighter Bites has distributed more than 40 million pounds of produce and hundreds of thousands of nutrition education materials to over 500,000 individuals through schools, after school programs and summer camps in the cities in which it serves. Brighter Bites uses a simple formula for introducing healthy lifestyles to families: produce distribution, nutrition education, and a fun food experience that helps to demystify produce and show just how great it can taste.
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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 over 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, Salinas and Southwest Florida. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit www.brighterbites.org.
About Food Forward
Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people experiencing food insecurity, and inspiring others to do the same. For more details about Food Forward’s health and environmental work, statistics and more, visit foodforward.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.