Our Story

How a spurned slice of cake sparked a new kind of co-op.

 

 

Two Women,
One Very
Bright Idea

 

Lisa Helfman & Dr. Shreela Sharma
Founders of Brighter Bites

 

For several years, Lisa Helfman and her family took part in a weekly fruit and vegetable co-op, and she watched her children’s eating habits dramatically transform. So much so that her little boy turned down a piece of cake at a birthday party, craving instead the blueberries he’d grown fond of eating at home.

 

Like most moms, Lisa realized this was a fairly significant decision for a six-year-old. She wondered what kind of influence regular access to fresh produce might have on all children, especially if it were free to families.

She was inspired to replicate this type of positive change in underserved communities identified as “food deserts,” or areas where access to grocery stores stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables is sorely limited. Because nutrition education in these communities is often equally lacking, Lisa’s vision was to bring a produce co-op to schools in these neighborhoods that included an educational component.

 

 

To start, she created a collaborative partnership with Dr. Shreela Sharma, an expert in nutrition and a professor of epidemiology at UTHealth School of Public Health, and they launched the program now known as Brighter Bites.

Since its inception in 2012, Brighter Bites has delivered more than 40,000,000 pounds of fresh produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 475,000 individuals (including teachers) in multiple cities across the country.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) recently named Brighter Bites the winner of the 2018 PHA Impact Award. In 2016, Brighter Bites won the Texas Health Champion Award.

Looking for some healthy recipes to cook this Thanksgiving?
From apples and Brussels sprouts to potatoes and sweet potatoes, we've got you covered! Before you grocery shop, be sure to look at our healthy holiday sides for some delicious and nutritious bites for the whole family!
• Apple Cake
• Crafty Mac 'n Cheese
• The Perfect Pear and Brussels Sprouts Salad
• Sautéed Brussels Sprouts w/ Apples and Pecans
• Sneaky Mashed Potatoes
• Sweet Potato Harvest Salad
And so many more recipes on our website made for YOU!
https://brighterbites.org/recipes/

#brighterbites #recipeoftheday #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #healthyeating #healthycooking #thanksgivingrecipes #healthysides #JoyofFresh #HaveaPlant
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“By giving kids access to fresh, nutritious food and showing them how to make the most of it, we help turn healthy habits into something even better: healthy lifestyles.” - Lisa Helfman, Founder

Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands. We teach them how to use it and track their behavior change. We make it fun. We make it free. And we make it happen via a simple, three-part formula: Produce Distribution + Nutrition Education + Fun Food Experience

This #ThankfulThursday we are so grateful for our Brighter Bites families and their loyalty in showing up to try new fruits and vegetables each week. Thank you, Brighter Bites families, for being a part of our community of health through fresh food!

#brighterbites #freshproduce #nonprofit #fruit #vegetables #healthyeating #healthycooking #HaveaPlant #JoyofFresh
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SPREAD the word! It's National Sandwich Day! 🥪
So, today we are sharing our favorite sandwich spread ➡️ Put-it-on-Anything Pesto. 🌿 We think you'll love it so much that you'll put it on anything! 😉
Full recipe below and up on our website! https://brighterbites.org/recipe/put-it-on-anything-pesto/

INGREDIENTS
• 7 cups of spinach
• ½ cup almonds, whole or crushed
• Juice of one lemon
• ¾ cup of leeks (white and pale green parts)
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ⅛ tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Thoroughly wash the leeks before using by slicing the leek and placing the sliced pieces into a bowl of water. Once the dirt is removed, dry the sliced leeks in a paper towel. Place the spinach, almonds, and lemon juice in the food processor. Process until finely chopped. Then, add all other ingredients and process until the pesto has a smooth texture. Serve as a spread on sandwiches, a sauce for pasta, a topping for grilled chicken, or as an appetizer with carrot sticks.

#brighterbites #BrighterBitesBrighterHomes #nationalsandwichday #pesto #recipeoftheday #healthyrecipes #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #healthyeating #healthycooking
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No tricks here! Just healthy treats! 🍇🍌🍍🍓
Our DC team dressed up this week as fruits and veggies while distributing fresh fruits and veggies to our families, and we can't think of a better treat than that!
Hope you have a safe and healthy Halloween!
#brighterbites #nonprofit #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #healthyeating #healthytreats
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The SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party is tomorrow night! We are looking forward to sharing our mission with the produce industry as well as enjoying a live concert from a big-name artist! 🎸🎶🎙 We are so thankful for the generous support of our event sponsors. Thank you @chelanfresh @calavogrowers @grimmwayfarms @goodfoods @yesapples !!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us tomorrow, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
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Thank you @earthfresh for being a matching sponsor for the upcoming SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party is coming up next Tuesday, October 13! We are honored to be the nonprofit recipient of the event and to have the support of our sponsors!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
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We are five days out from the SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party! We are honored to be the nonprofit recipient of the event, and we are so grateful for our generous matching sponsor @sunkistcitrus !! 🍊 Thank you!!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
...

The SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party is coming up next Tuesday, October 13! We are honored to be the nonprofit recipient of the event, and we are privileged to have the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you @heb !!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
...

We are beyond excited to be the nonprofit recipient of the SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party happening next Tuesday, October 13! Not only do we get to share our mission with the produce industry through this event, but we also get to share a virtual concert experience! 🎤🎵🎶🎸 How exciting is that? Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
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