In this installment of The Data Harvest, we use data collected by Dr. Shreela Sharma and her research team to examine how Brighter Bites’ use of the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program paired with delivering produce to teachers’ classrooms is impacting not only the families we serve but also our students’ schools.
This school year, over 30,000 families in over 100 schools nationwide will participate in the Brighter Bites program, where they will also engage with the CATCH platform, a coordinated school and community approach to child health backed by 25 years of scientific evidence-based research. CATCH synthesizes the different factors working together in a child’s life, including school health education, community involvement, family engagement, physical environment, health services, and more, to improve the child’s overall health. Brighter Bites implements the CATCH program at each school in our Austin, Dallas, Houston, D.C., and New York locations to ensure students are properly educated on nutrition education and physical activity. In Southwest Florida, Brighter Bites partners with a similar coordinated school health program called YUM.
Our teachers reported a 70% success rate of CATCH implementation at their schools, and after the 2018-2019 school year, had led over 13,000 CATCH lessons and 36,000 produce activities. Rounded out with the 800 CATCH activities taught by P.E. coaches and 120 YUM activities in Florida, Brighter Bites students participated in a total of over 50,000 CATCH and YUM lessons nationwide!
We’re excited to report that not only is our program impacting the health of children and their families but also the health of our teachers, who receive two Brighter Bites bags full of eight to 12 different fresh produce items for their classroom each week. After using the produce for an in-class produce activity with their students, teachers subsequently get to take home their produce bags, and 86% of teachers reported that our program influenced their own intake of fruits and vegetables.
We think the data gathered by Dr. Shreela Sharma’s research platform speaks for itself! Keep an eye out for our next installment of The Data Harvest, which you can have delivered right to your inbox in our newsletter, The Brighter Byte.