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.

Today we're excited about potatoes and blueberries! 🥔💙
What fruits and veggies are you excited to eat this week?

@BrighterBitesAustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #Nonprofit
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Bags on bags on bags! 😍🥕🍇🍊🍓🥦
Our @brighterbitessalinas program has distributed over 121,000 pounds of fresh produce and taught over 250 nutrition education lessons so far this school year!

Want to join our mission in Salinas? Sign up to volunteer with us today! ➡️ www.brighterbites.org/volunteer

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesSalinas #Volunteer #NutritionEducation #FreshProduce
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We ❤️ our volunteers, and we'd love to have YOU join us! Want to be part of the fun? Join us today and volunteer in your community!
https://brighterbites.org/volunteer/

#BrighterBites #Volunteer #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation #Community
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Here's to a strong week ahead! 💪🍎🍎

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #NutritionEducation
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Variety is key in getting the nutrition we need to live healthy lives. 🍎🥦🌽🍓🍇🍑 Our Brighter Bites boxes provide ~50 servings of a variety of fresh fruits and veggies for the families that we serve. From pineapple to red onions to bell peppers and more, we seek out the most nutrition for our families every week!
Interested in learning more in how you can partner with us in produce? https://brighterbites.org/produce-partners/

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #Nonprofit
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Brighter Bites is changing habits and changing lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to support families in building healthy habits that last a lifetime!

@brighterbiteshouston #BrighterBitesHouston #BrighterBites #Nonprofit #HealthyHabits #HealthyEating
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This celery really packs a crunch! We think it's a great after school snack for munching! This Brighter Bites student in Austin, Texas thinks so too! 💚

@BrighterBitesAustin #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #HealthySnack #Celery #FreshProduce #Vegetables #WellnessWednesday
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Fresh and festive! 🎉🍊🥦🥕🍍
Kicking off the new year with some recipe inspiration to start your year off on a healthy note!
Looking for some recipes to support your healthy habits this year? We've got you covered! 🍽️🥘🍲🥤www.brighterbites.org/recipes

#BrighterBites #HealthyRecipes
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🧡🍑 We love hearing from our Brighter Bites families about how fresh fruits and veggies have impacted their lives!

@BrighterBitesHou
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #Fruits #Veggies #NutritionEducation
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Teachers are an essential part of our program, and they truly make our impact brighter! ☀️🌽🍑🍅🍇🥕
Thank you, 2nd grade teacher Ms. Ewing in Austin, for sharing how fruits and veggies have impacted your students in the classroom!

@BrighterBitesAustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #NutritionEducation #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables
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This winter break we've got you covered on recipes that'll bring the whole family together! 🥘🍲🥗🍝
For recipes like these and more visit our website! www.brighterbites.org/recipes

#BrighterBites #HealthyRecipes
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❄️Happy Holidays from our family to yours! We hope you have a healthy and happy holiday with friends and family!
❄️¡Felices Días Festivos de nuestra familia a la suya! ¡Esperamos que tengan unos días festivos saludables y felices con amigos y familiares!
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Hoping your week is "Merry and Bright!" ❤️🍎
-Your Brighter Bites team!

@BrighterBitesHouston
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #MerryAndBright
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