FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Specialty Produce Distributor Donates to Nutrition Education Nonprofit in Florida
Pompano Beach-based Southern Specialties provides fruits and vegetables to Brighter Bites in Southwest Florida weekly and free of charge
Houston, TX (December 17, 2018) – Southern Specialties, a South Florida fruit and vegetable grower and shipper, has partnered with national nonprofit Brighter Bites to provide two varieties of produce each week to the organization’s Southwest Florida program.
Brighter Bites tackles childhood obesity by providing low-income families with free fresh produce and nutrition education. Each week families and teachers participating in Brighter Bites receive two bags containing approximately 50 servings of eight to 12 different fresh produce items along with the nutrition education materials.
“Southern Specialties is very proud of our association with Brighter Bites. Together, we are moving the needle towards greater fruit and vegetable consumption among children and their families,” said Charlie Eagle, vice president of business development for Southern Specialties. “It is gratifying to see the quantifiable results produced by the Brighter Bites program.”
“With consistent support from Southern Specialties each week of our programming in Southwest Florida, we are sure to be giving our families in Immokalee and other parts of Collier County access to two additional unique items of produce each and every week of the program,” said Brighter Bites Executive Director Samuel Newman. “During this season of gratitude, we are thankful for produce houses like Southern Specialties who understand that exposing Brighter Bites families to fresh food is giving them the gift of health.”
Since launching in 2012, Brighter Bites has distributed more than 18 million pounds of produce and hundreds of thousands of nutrition education materials to 265,000 individuals from more than 40,000 families through schools and summer camps in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Southwest Florida. Brighter Bites uses a simple formula for introducing healthy lifestyles to families: produce distribution, nutrition education, and a fun food experience that includes sampling a recipe of the week to see just how great produce can taste.
Brighter Bites measures the outcomes of its program to determine impact. Research shows the Brighter Bites model provides consistent opportunities for children and their families to practice healthier behaviors in school and at home:
• 98% of Brighter Bites parents report their children eating more fruits and vegetables while participating in the Brighter Bites program.
• Of those, 74% said they maintained that increased level of consumption after Brighter Bites ended.
Children and parents participating in Brighter Bites reported a:
• significant increase in the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed;
• significant increase in serving more fruits and vegetables as snacks;
• two-fold increase in cooking meals from scratch, and a significant increase in eating meals together and serving more produce as part of those meals;
• two-fold increase in using nutrition labels to guide grocery purchases;
• and a significant decrease in added sugars consumed among children.
About Brighter Bites:
Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschool, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided more than 18 million pounds of produce and 100,000s of nutrition education materials to more than 265,000 individuals (including teachers!) at more than 125 sites in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. 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. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit BrighterBites.org.
About Southern Specialties:
Southern Specialties is a grower, importer, processor and shipper of a variety of specialty products grown in Central America, South America, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. The company distributes from its Pompano Beach, Florida headquarters, and facilities in McAllen, Texas and San Luis, Arizona.