Brighter Bites expands to Salinas
Brighter Bites, a national nonprofit organization that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands, announces the launch of its seventh location in Salinas, CA.
The fertile fields of the Salinas Valley are home to numerous growers, and the headquarters of many Brighter Bites partners making it an ideal location for the expansion. Brighter Bites looks forward to seizing on this opportunity to improve the health of the students and families in the Salinas area by providing nutrition education and access to free, fresh produce being grown so close.
“We’re thrilled to expand our services to the ‘produce capital’ of our country,” said Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites. “Partnering with the Salinas community is such a natural fit for Brighter Bites and we’re honored to work with local growers, shippers, and organizations to continue the momentum of giving back to a community that has given us so much.”
Brighter Bites’ launch in the region is made possible through the support of several key partners, including River Fresh Farms, who is providing logistical support, and critical funding partners like the Church Bros., JV Smith Cos., Mission Produce, Taylor Farms, and the Walmart Foundation. Other donors, including those who are providing produce, include Braga Fresh, D’Arrigo California, Dole Food Co., Mann Packing Co., Muzzi Family Farms, and The Nunes Co.
Monterey County resident Alicia Blanco, senior program manager for Brighter Bites, has identified three school districts that the organization will initially partner with based on current need and fit with the Brighter Bites mission. The schools partnering with Brighter Bites for the school year include the Gonzales Unified School District, Greenfield Union School District and Monterey County Head Start. Brighter Bites will continue to grow the program in the Salinas region into the summer and fall.
“We are so excited to be partnering with Brighter Bites to bring farm-fresh produce to our students and their families. This program will allow our students to learn the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, while providing them with the resources to do so,” said Alvin Vitug, director of nutrition at La Gloria Elementary School in Gonzales, CA.
Since launching in 2012, Brighter Bites has distributed more than 40 million pounds of produce and hundreds of thousands of nutrition education materials to over 500,000 individuals through schools, after school programs and summer camps in the cities in which it serves. Brighter Bites uses a simple formula for introducing healthy lifestyles to families: produce distribution, nutrition education, and a fun food experience that helps to demystify produce and show just how great it can taste.