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.

Fact Time! 💡
Did you know that watermelons are 92% water? Now that is refreshing AND tasty! 🍉

#NationalWatermelonDay #Watermelon #FruitFacts #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #FreshProduce #Fruits #NutritionEducation
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❤️ Soaking in this last bit of summer! 🌞🍉🍍🍅🌽🍑

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesDC #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #EatInSeason #SummerFruits #SummerVeggies
@BrighterBitesDC
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It's #NationalSandwichMonth, and we've got the perfect spread for your sandwich! We call it the Put-it-on-Anything Pesto because you can put it on anything! From turkey to chicken to veggie sandwiches and more, spread a little pesto on your sandwich, and we promise you'll thank us later!

See the full recipe here: https://brighterbites.org/recipe/put-it-on-anything-pesto/

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #HealthyRecipe #HealthyEating #Pesto #Spinach #Leeks
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Here's to wishing you AVO great day! 🥑🎉😉

#NationalAvocadoDay #avocados #BrighterBites #FreshProduce
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Jonathan and his mom are loving the colorful Brighter Bites boxes in Austin this week! 🍍📦❤️

@BrighterBitesAustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #FunFoodExperience
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Brighter Bites is honored to be among other leading nonprofits to be named a "Harkin on Wellness Designee" by the Harkin Institute!

"It is the goal of the Harkin on Wellness Report, to highlight top wellness and nutrition initiatives that are examples of organizations making the larger impact through effective policy, system, and environmental change. We encourage others to use this as a tool
to build partnerships and create sustainable, cross-sector coalitions within their own community and beyond."

See our feature on page 11-12: https://harkininstitute.drake.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/103/2021/03/HOWReport2021_Final_v1.pdf
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It takes two to mango or tango? 🥭💃🕺
Either way, we think you need to try our Mango Tango Salsa! It is sure to please a crowd! Serve it as an appetizer with chips, a side for a sandwich, or a topping on tacos.
https://brighterbites.org/recipe/mango-tango-salsa/

#MangoDay #Mango #MangoSalsa #HealthyRecipe
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Brighter Choices. Brighter Outlooks. Brighter Bites! 🍎

Through the support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas we've brought more than just produce to our families (219,342 pounds so far this summer!)- we've brought big smiles and lots of tools to create healthy behaviors for life!

@brighterbiteshou @brighterbitesdallas @brighterbitesaustin
#HealthyKidsHealthyFamilies #BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience
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We are crazy about spinach! 🌱From pesto to smoothies to muffins and more, this versatile vegetable adds so much color and nutrition to so many recipes. We think spinach is so good, you can add spinach to breakfast, lunch, dinner, AND even dessert! Try it and let us know what you think! 🤔
We've got spinach tips, how to guides, recipes, and more! Visit our website for all the tips! 💚 www.brighterbites.org

#NationalFreshSpinachDay #Spinach #BrighterBites #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #HealthyRecipe #FreshProduce #Vegetables #NutritionEducation #FundFoodExperience
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Hard to say no to this classic dish when you know that it is both tasty and healthy!!
Can anyone guess what veggies we snuck into this delicious dish?!
Happy National Mac and Cheese Day! 🥳
🧀Recipe: https://brighterbites.org/recipe/crafty-mac-n-cheese/

#NationalMacAndCheeseDay #BrighterBites #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #HealthyRecipe #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #NutritionEducation #FunFoodExperience
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