Our Process

Eight steps to Brighter Bites.

Step 1

Engage
Communities

Step 2

Select the
Week’s Variety

Step 3

Load Up!

Step 4

Bag the
Produce

Step 5

Teach
Brighter Choices

Step 6

Sample
& Share

Step 7

Take Home
the Fun

Step 8

Replicate

Engage

Select

Load

Bag

Teach

Sample

Take

Replicate

Step One

Engage
Communities

It all starts with the right relationships. We engage schools, communities, and partners and introduce them to our Brighter Bites model: produce distribution + nutrition education + a fun food experience.

From local farmers to leading university researchers, teachers to three-generation families, it takes teamwork to build a culture of health. Brighter Bites was built to scale, and we make it as easy as possible for communities.

A LITTLE HEART PLUS ONE MAGIC FORMULA

HEALTHY CHANGE: LOCALLY SOWN, NATIONALLY GROWN!

Step Two

Select the
Week’s Variety

Our produce suppliers donate fresh fruits and vegetables to our partnering food banks. Each week, our staff chooses 8 to 12 different types of produce from the huge warehouse coolers, and the food is specially tagged for Brighter Bites.

Working closely with leaders like Sysco not only helps us ensure that a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are available for Brighter Bites, but also that the food meets stringent standards of safety, quality, and traceable tastiness—no matter its shape or size!

WE CHOOSE OUR PRODUCE AS CAREFULLY AS WE CHOOSE OUR PARTNERS

WE EMBRACE THE FUNFAMILIAR, FROM SWISS CHARD TO STARFRUIT!

Step Three

Load Up!

Massive pallets teeming with bags and cases of fresh produce for Brighter Bites are loaded by warehouse staff into a large box truck. It is hard work: each truckload can feed hundreds of families.

Each pallet carries 1500 lbs of fresh produce

The truck can hold 8-10 pallets (enough to feed 400 families!)

Step Four

Bag the
Produce

Once the truck arrives at the site, it is typically unloaded into a gym or cafeteria. Unified in our bright red t-shirts, Brighter Bites staff, parents, and community volunteers work as an assembly line to unpack and divide the variety of produce into bags.

Each family and teacher receives two bags of fresh fruits and vegetables. Staples like potatoes, onions, carrots, and apples are typically included—along with unique seasonal picks that give families the chance to take home top crops like kale, kiwi, beets, plums, or rutabaga.

TWO BAGS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES PER FAMILY

200-800 BAGS WILL BE LINED UP ONCE THE PROCESS IS COMPLETE!

Step Five

Teach
Brighter Choices

Also added into the bags are nutrition handbooks, tip sheets, and recipes that incorporate that week’s fresh produce. These bilingual materials are chock full of helpful info and advice, from kitchen safety to smarter snacking to making a healthier menu.

All educational materials are linked to children’s in-class nutrition lessons from CATCH and other evidence-based, coordinated school health programs that we help implement via our specially-trained staff.

Nearly 100 bilingual recipes exist in our database

CATCH IS BACKED BY NEARLY 25 YEARS OF UNIVERSITY RESEARCH

Step Six

Sample
& Share

Let the fun food experience begin! Our team prepares healthy, tasty “brighter bites” for families to sample, using one or more of the produce items being shared that week.

The recipe for that very demo also waits in the bags, ready to be taken home and tried out. Kids and their families taste new dips, soups, snacks, main dishes, and more—and they never leave without a stop at our happenin’ tattoo station.

OUR SIGNATURE SAMPLES ARE CONCOCTED BY IN-HOUSE NUTRITIONISTS

HULK SMOOTHIE, ANYONE?

Step Seven

Take Home
the Fun

When all is said and done, each family and teacher walks away with a pair of bags that contains approximately 50 servings of fresh, seasonal produce, plus tips and tools for how to use it.

For one week for a family of four, that’s two extra servings of fruits and vegetables a day—at no extra cost to our participating families.

Light fare, heavy load: one set of bags = 20-25 lbs!

2 extra servings of fruits & vegetables a day

At no extra cost

Step Eight

Replicate

This process repeats for 16 weeks during the school year and 8 weeks during the summer. Our scalable co-op model allows us to bring Brighter Bites to more schools  and camps each season, creating a culture of health wherever we go.

DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR AND SUMMERS

WE’VE PASSED OUT OVER 15 MILLION POUNDS OF PRODUCE TO MORE THAN 40,000 FAMILIES

No tricks here! Just healthy treats! 🍇🍌🍍🍓
Our DC team dressed up this week as fruits and veggies while distributing fresh fruits and veggies to our families, and we can't think of a better treat than that!
Hope you have a safe and healthy Halloween!
#brighterbites #nonprofit #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #healthyeating #healthytreats
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The SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party is tomorrow night! We are looking forward to sharing our mission with the produce industry as well as enjoying a live concert from a big-name artist! 🎸🎶🎙 We are so thankful for the generous support of our event sponsors. Thank you @chelanfresh @calavogrowers @grimmwayfarms @goodfoods @yesapples !!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us tomorrow, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
...

Thank you @earthfresh for being a matching sponsor for the upcoming SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party is coming up next Tuesday, October 13! We are honored to be the nonprofit recipient of the event and to have the support of our sponsors!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
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We are five days out from the SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party! We are honored to be the nonprofit recipient of the event, and we are so grateful for our generous matching sponsor @sunkistcitrus !! 🍊 Thank you!!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
...

The SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party is coming up next Tuesday, October 13! We are honored to be the nonprofit recipient of the event, and we are privileged to have the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you @heb !!

Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
...

We are beyond excited to be the nonprofit recipient of the SUNSET® Rocks Virtual Party happening next Tuesday, October 13! Not only do we get to share our mission with the produce industry through this event, but we also get to share a virtual concert experience! 🎤🎵🎶🎸 How exciting is that? Interested to see who this year's big-name recording artist will be? Join us next Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30PM EST!
Link to register in bio!
#sunsetrocksvirtualparty #brighterbites #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #partnership #sunsetgrown #inspiredbyflavor
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It's World Vegetarian Day, and we are sharing some of our favorite vegetarian dishes. 🍅🥦🌽🧅🥕So whether you are eating a vegetarian diet, fasting from meat, practicing "meatless Mondays", or simply looking to add more vegetables into your diet, we've got some recipes for you!
• Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
• Black-Eyed Peas Rainbow Salad
• Cauliflower Ceviche
• Zucchini Pizzas
For more these full recipes and more, visit our website www.brighterbites.org/recipes

#brighterbites #BrighterBitesBrighterHomes #worldvegetarianday #vegetarian #recipeoftheday #healthyrecipes #freshproduce #fruit #vegetables #healthyeating #healthycooking
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Ready for slower mornings and delicious pancakes this weekend? 😴🥞 We are too!! Just in time for National Pancake Day tomorrow, we are sharing our Sweet Potato Pancakes recipe. 🍠🥞 You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious and sweet treat that is sure to please the whole family for your weekend breakfast!

INGREDIENTS
• ½ sweet potato
• 3 eggs
• ⅛ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
• ⅛ tsp salt

DIRECTIONS
Using a knife, cut slits in the sweet potato half for better cooking and cook sweet potato in microwave until very tender (about 4½ minutes). Once the sweet potato has cooled, use a fork to mash it until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. In a blender or food processor add sweet potato, eggs, and remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Over medium heat, spray a pan with cooking spray and add a ¼ cup of batter to form a pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat this to make about 6-7 pancakes. Serve with bananas, berries, and a splash of maple syrup or honey!

#brighterbites #BrighterBitesBrighterHomes #nationalpancakeday #sweetpotato #pancakes #breakfast #recipeoftheday #freshproduce #vegetables #healthyeating #healthycooking
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It's National Linguini Day and we wanted to share our Pasta Primavera recipe, which we think is imPASTAble to resist! 🍝🍝🍝

INGREDIENTS
• 2 zucchini, diced
• 1 bell pepper, diced
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper (to taste)
• 1 jar (32 oz) pasta sauce
• 1 lb uncooked whole wheat pasta

DIRECTIONS
In a large pot boil water and cook pasta according to package instructions. When ready, drain pasta and let sit. Sauté zucchini, bell pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add the sauce and heat then serve over the cooked pasta. 🍝😋

#brighterbites #BrighterBitesBrighterHomes #nationallinguiniday #pasta #recipeoftheday #freshproduce #vegetables
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This might sound corny, but it has felt a-maize-ing 🌽 to be back in our communities and see all of our Brighter Bites families this week! 💛

That’s a wrap on our first week of fall programming in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and DC! 🎉📦🧅🥕🍎🥔🍋

#brighterbites #freshproduce #fruits #veggies #vegetables #nutritioneducation
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Want to be a part of the Brighter Bites volunteer community?
We think we'd make a great PEAR! 🍐 🍐 Join us this year in distributing our boxes full of fresh produce to our families. We have opportunities available in all of our cities! 🍉🍌🥕🌽🍊🥬

Distribution Volunteer Duties may include:
• Distributing boxes into cars in the drive thru line or directly into the hand of families in walk up lines 🚙🚗📦
• Lifting and moving produce boxes or moving pallets 🥦💪
• Tracking and checking in families ✔️📋
• Directing drive-thru or walk up lines🚦🚧
• Set up and break down of tents/tables 🎪
• Adding handouts/materials/stickers to the boxes ⭐

Hungry to help? 🍎
Sign up online ➡️www.brighterbites.org/volunteer
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Looking to squeeze in a little volunteering? 🍋 Our volunteers spots are open, and we are ready to GUAC-and-roll! 🥑 Today, we are highlighting our Produce Boxing opportunity located at the @houstonfoodbank ! It's all hands on deck to help package up all of the fruits and vegetables for our Brighter Bites families. 💚

During the boxing project, volunteers will help build produce orders for Brighter Bites schools at the Houston Food Bank. This includes sorting and boxing produce, then stacking the completed boxes of produce onto pallets. These pallets will then be delivered by the Houston Food Bank to Brighter Bites schools throughout the week.
 
Volunteer duties may include:
• Sorting a variety of fruits and vegetables into boxes 🥕🍓🍍🍊
• Lifting and stacking full produce boxes in order to build large pallets of packaged produce 📦
• Cleaning the work area by disposing of trash and recycling ♻️

Hungry to Help? 🍎 Sign up on our website ➡️ www.brighterbites.org/volunteer
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