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.

Our @BrighterBitesSalinas team is ready to serve! This semester, we are serving over 900 families and have already distributed over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce! 📦🍊🍉🌽🥦🥑🍅

Interested in volunteering with us? Sign up today!
www.brighterbites.org/volunteer/

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesSalinas #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables #Nonprofit #Volunteer
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Give Tuesday is tomorrow! It's not too late to join our give to help overcome the lack of access children have to healthy fruits and vegetables and nutrition education. All gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

#GivingTuesday #BrighterBites
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Give the gift of health this Giving Tuesday! 🎁🥦🥕🍇🥒🍓

From now through November 30, donate to join our mission of creating healthier lives for kids and their families across the country! Your donation makes direct impact- it provides families with direct access to fresh fruits & veggies, nutrition education, and healthy tips & tools!

www.justgiving.com/campaign/brighterbites

#GivingTuesday #BrighterBites
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Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and your family! 🌽🥔🥕🍎

We are THANKFUL for all of our Brighter Bites families, partners, educators, supporters, friends, and staff for being a part of our community of health through fresh food! We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday weekend!

#HappyThanksgiving #Thanksgiving2021 #BrighterBites
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Giving Tuesday is just a little over a week away! Won't you join us in our mission of creating healthier communities? Make this school year the best one yet, and donate today!

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/brighterbites

#BrighterBites #GivingTuesday
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FriYAY vibes in Washington, D.C.! 🎉
Our @BrighterBitesDC program could not be more excited to serve our 12 schools across Prince George's County!
Join the fun and volunteer today! https://brighterbites.org/volunteer/

#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesDC #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation
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We ❤️ our volunteers!

@BrighterBitesDC
#ThankfulThursday #BrighterBites #BrighterBitesDC #Volunteer #Nonprofit #Potatoes
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We believe that the better we nourish, the brighter we flourish, and with produce like this we get to watch our families flourish every day!

@BrighterBitesDC
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesDC #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation #Fruits #Vegetables
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Thank you to all of our generous supporters and donors for your contributions to our back-to-school campaign "Brighter Bites Start with Brighter Minds"!
Since we launched the campaign in September, we were able to raise $17,877, with an additional $20,500 from matching donations! All of the money raised goes directly to providing our families with access to fresh fruits and veggies, nutrition education, and healthy tips & tools to jumpstart a lifetime of healthy habits! Now that is something to get excited about!

Interested in continuing to support our mission? Our campaign is still open! Give today through Giving Tuesday, November 30 to help us reach our $50,000 goal!
https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/brighterbites

#BrighterBites #BrighterMindsBrighterBites #GivingTuesday #Nonprofit
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Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality, and these volunteers create a fun and welcoming environment! 🍍🍍🍍🎉
Thank you to our volunteers and staff at Govalle Elementary in Austin, Texas for your fun energy, hard work, and hospitality skills!

@BrighterBitesAustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #FreshProduce #Volunteers
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Thank you #bluecrossblueshieldtexas for your support! 🙌 This year, we have served over 11,575 families across 90 schools this year so far in Texas! Over 841,000 pounds of produce distributed and counting!

@BrighterBitesHouston @BrighterBitesDallas @BrighterBitesAustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #BrighterBitesDallas #BrighterBitesAustin #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation
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The families we serve are the apple of our eyes! 🍎🍎🍎

We love seeing the lives of so many families impacted by the simple pleasure of fresh fruits and veggies! These sweet smiles say it all!

@BrighterBitesHOU
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesHouston #FreshProduce #NutritionEducation #Fruits #Vegetables
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💛 We love the bright pop of yellow these squashed bring to our bags! Thank you @keepaustinfed @urbanrootsatx for your generous donation to our Brighter Bites families!

@BrighterBitesAustin
#BrighterBites #BrighterBitesAustin #YellowSquash #FreshProduce #Vegetables
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It's #CookSomethingBoldDay, and we think that means playing with fruit and veggies in the kitchen in new and creative ways! We love trying new things, and we would love to hear how you get bold in the kitchen too! 🥕🍆🥔🥦🍅
Comment below with your favorite recipe!⬇️

#BrighterBites #HealthyRecipes #FreshProduce #Fruits #Vegetables
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