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Brighter Bites surpasses distribution of 60M pounds of fresh food

Brighter Bites released its annual report. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has distributed more than 60 million pounds of fresh produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 1 million individuals.

 bbReaders will get a closer look at Brighter Bites’ financials, the partnerships that make its mission possible, information about the unique produce distributed, and a general look back at 2023. The annual report also contains information about plans for 2024.

Key highlights found within the report include:

  • Over 8 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were distributed — a 12 percent increase from 7.13 million pounds in 2022 — in the 11 cities across the country that Brighter Bites serves: Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, southwest Florida, Salinas, CA, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, CA, San Antonio and Pheonix.
  • There were 2.73 million total family and classroom encounters — up 26 percent from 2022 — where Brighter Bites staff interacted directly with families and students at produce distribution and in the classroom.
  • The organization received 6.797 million pounds of in-kind donations from food banks and produce industry partners in 2023, a 5 percent increase from 2022.
  • $17.5 million of fresh produce distributed at retail value, based on current USDA data — a 15 percent increase from 2022.
  • 20,921 nutrition education lessons and activities were taught in classrooms across the country.

“At the heart of our mission is the belief that access to fresh produce and nutrition education are fundamental rights for all individuals and families, regardless of their socioeconomic status,” said Lisa Helfman, founder of Brighter Bites.Over the course of the past year, we have been able to make tangible differences in the lives of countless families across the country.

In 2023, Brighter Bites implemented the following activities, strengthening its impact:

  • Launched Produce RX Program as part of its partnership with UTHealth and DoorDash focusing on Food is Medicine. This initiative laid the groundwork for the commitment to improve food security, diet quality and health outcomes for vulnerable communities as part of the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities.
  • Opened programming in San Antonio and Phoenix, marking the nonprofits tenth and eleventh cities.
  • Coordinated over 18,630 hours of volunteer work to ensure Brighter Bites families were supplied with food and nutrition education.

“I am so appreciative for the unwavering commitment and support to our mission from all of our donors and partners at every level of our organization,” said Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites. “Together, we have made significant strides in addressing health and food insecurity by providing fresh fruits and vegetables along with vital nutrition education to under-resourced families in our communities. This results in creating new consumers for the produce industry and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. In the face of challenges, your support and generosity has been a beacon of hope. Thank you for your extraordinary support!"

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