Brighter Bites is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings healthy choices into the homes, minds, and mealtimes of families who live in the underserved communities of Houston, Dallas, and Austin. For 16 weeks during the school year and eight weeks during the summer, Brighter Bites provides 1) 30-35 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to each participating family 2) nutrition education consisting of handbooks, recipe cards, healthy tip sheets, and support for the implementation of a coordinated school health program, and 3) a fun food experience consisting of a healthy recipe tasting for everyone to try together when they pick up their produce at school dismissal.
Brighter Bites was founded in Houston in 2012 by Lisa Helfman and Dr. Shreela Sharma with a vision to provide fresh fruits and vegetables directly to families living in food deserts, and teach them how to use and choose a better kind of fast food. Co-founder Helfman had watched her son’s own food preferences change in only a matter of months after her family began participating in a produce co-op that provided them with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. After experiencing this dramatic shift in her own home, Helfman decided to do the same for other families who lived in areas without access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. In less than four years, the program has delivered more than 5,000,000 pounds of fresh produce to over 20,000 families whose kids attend nearly 90 different schools, camps, and afterschool programs across Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Brighter Bites is a collaborative partnership between the Houston Food Bank, North Texas Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, Feeding Texas, Sysco, H-E-B, and the University of Texas School of Public Health.