Let’s keep
a good thing
growing.

Join

The Brighter Bites application for school year 2021-2022 is available now! Please complete the application here
by April 1, 2021.

For sites interested in applying for summer 2021, please complete the application here by April 1, 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 are thrilled to share that we’ve been selected as a #VoicesDMV Community Action Awards winner for our Washington, D.C. program! Thank you @communityfndn for helping us spark change and turn our ideas into action to enhance our community!
#AdvocacyToAction #CommunityAction
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🍓Strawberries are red,⁠
Blueberries are blue.⁠
Mangoes are sweet🥭,⁠
and we think you are too!⁠
♥️ -The Brighter Bites crew!⁠

#HappyValentinesDay⁠
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Brighter Bites is wishing our community a Happy Lunar New Year!
#LunarNewYear
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This #WellnessWednesday we are celebrating the avocado!⁠
Avocados are in peak season. 😋🥑⁠
What does that mean❓ When fruits and vegetables are in season it means that they are the most flavorful and affordable.⁠

✨It can be tricky to choose the right avocado, but here are a few of our tips! ⁠

🥑 Avocados are available year round like most fruits and vegetables these days, but January through March is the best time of year for the best flavor.⁠
🥑Look for avocados that are green and firm if you won’t be using them for a few days or avocados that are⁠
black and evenly yield to gentle touch for immediate use. ⁠
🥑To ripen avocados, you may leave them out at room temperature until they soften. ⁠
🥑Look for avocados without bruises, blemishes, soft spots, or very mushy flesh.⁠

Fun fact: Avocado is a fruit. 🥑😎⁠

#BrighterBites #EatinSeason #FreshProduce #Fruit #NutritionEducation #Nonprofit #HealthyTips #HealthyFact #Avocado ⁠
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It's National Pizza Day 🍕🎉, so we are sharing our Zucchini Pizza recipe and a healthy tip for you:

Did you know that you can make pizza without a flour crust? That's right! These yummy zucchini pizzas uses thin slices of zucchini as the crust! This recipe is flavorful, easy to make, full of nutrition, and budget-friendly. 🥫🧅It is sure to fit in with your health goals this year. 💪⁠
Check out the recipe below, and let us know what you think!⁠

INGREDIENTS:⁠
3 medium zucchini⁠
Pinch of salt and pepper⁠
1 small jar low sodium pizza or marinara sauce⁠
¼ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese⁠
your favorite vegetable toppings (onion, bell pepper, olives, or mushrooms)⁠

DIRECTIONS⁠
Turn on oven broiler, or preheat to 425°F. Wash zucchini and cut into slices about ¼ inches thick. Lightly sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, and place on baking sheet. Spread a small amount of sauce on each zucchini slice, then top with cheese and your choice of veggies. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes, or bake until cheese is melted. Serve immediately!⁠

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #HealthyEating #HealthyCooking #RecipeOfTheDay #TuesdayTips #NationalPizzaDay #NutritionEducation #EatHealthy #BBHouston #BBAustin #BBDallas #BBNYC #BBWashingtonDC #BBSWFL
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Looking for delicious and nutritious appetizers for this Super Bowl weekend at home?? 🏈⁠
Here are a few of our favorite dips perfect for the occasion-
• Better Than Ranch Dip⁠
• Black Bean Dip ⁠
• Corn Guacamole⁠
• Poblano Salsa
😋🥕🥑🌮⁠

Pair these dips with sliced veggies, tortillas chips, or as a toppings on tacos. ⁠

Visit our website for the full recipes. ➡️https://brighterbites.org/recipe/⁠

What are you snacking on this Super Bowl Sunday? Comment below with the healthy recipes! You’ll be making at home!

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #HealthyCooking #HealthyEating #RecipeOfTheDay #SuperBowlSnacks⁠
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Think we are crazy for putting clothes on vegetables? We don’t CARROT all! 🥕😉
We love putting smiles on our families’ faces, and this guy sure did this week at Beacon Heights Elementary in DC! 🤩

@brighterbitesdc
#brighterbites #brighterbitesdc #freshproduce #fruits #vegetables
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Can you guess what is special about today's "date"⁉️⁠
It is #NationalMedjoolDateDay! 🌴 To help celebrate National Medjool Date Day we would like to share a quick tip about dates:⁠
Did you know that the white spots that occur on dates are not mold, but the date’s natural sugar moving to the surface.😋 ⁠

For more tips on dates and other delicious fruits and vegetables visit our website at www.brighterbites.org/tips-tools 🤩⁠

@ndmedjooldates ⁠
#BrighterBites #NationalMedjoolDateDay #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation #Nonprofit #HealthyFact
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Southwest Florida Friends!
Save the Date! You’re invited to join the Naples Children & Education Foundation on Saturday, January 30th at 7:00PM on WINK-TV. The one-hour televised event will highlight organizations it has funded and the systems of care it has built to support children like ours in Collier County. Please join us and help improve the life of a child—you won’t even have to get off the couch to do it.
Good news for our friends outside of Florida- The event will also be livestreamed online for all to see! Please visit https://www.ncefkids.com/ to tune in live on Saturday at 7:00PM EST.

@ncef_nwwf @brighterbites_swfl
#‎ItsAllForTheKids #NCEFNaples #NWWF21 #NCEFkids #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesSWFL #partnership #nonprofit #FreshProduce #fruits #vegetables #NutritionEducation
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Today we honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. 
#MLKDay #MartinLutherKingDay
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That's a wrap for our first full week of spring programming in our cities!
This week, our families at Robinson Elementary in Houston, TX received these beautiful boxes full of grapes, carrots, oranges, potatoes, limes, and bananas. What a great variety of produce! So many options to cook up in the kitchen. What would you make with this box of produce?
🍇🥔🥕🍌🍊

#BrighterBites #FreshProduce #FruitsAndVegetables #fruits #vegetables #nonprofit #nutritioneducation
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We are kicking off the new year with a classic! 🎉 In honor of National Spaghetti Day 🍝, we are sharing our Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe. This recipe is flavorful, easy to make, full of nutrition, and budget-friendly. 🥫🧅🧄🥕It is sure to fit in with all of your new goals this year. 💪
Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

INGREDIENTS
•2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
•1 large onion, finely chopped
•1 large carrot, finely chopped
•1 stalk celery, finely chopped
•4 cloves garlic, minced, or ½ tsp garlic powder
•1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
•1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, no salt added
•½ tsp salt

DIRECTIONS
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown (5-8 minutes). Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook for about 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes and cook until thickened (about 4-6 minutes). Stir in salt. Serve over whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash!

NUTRITION FACTS FOR ONE SERVING (approx. ½ cup; makes 10 servings): 45 calories; 9 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fat; 2 grams protein; 2 grams dietary fiber
Average cost for one recipe: $1.76

#brighterbites #freshproduce #fruits #vegetables #healthyeating #healthycooking #recipeoftheday #nationalspaghettiday
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