Jun 23, 2022
Brighter Bites bounces back from COVID-19 in 2021

Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that delivers fresh fruits, vegetables and nutrition education resources directly into families’ hands, has released its 2021 annual report.

The report features Brighter Bites’ financials, the number of nutrition education materials the organization distributed, the number of schools and families served and a general look back at 2021. The nonprofit’s upcoming plans for the 2022-23 school year are also highlighted.

Photos: Brighter Bites

Key highlights of the report include:

  • The organization distributed 5.14 million pounds of food in the seven major metropolitan areas it serves: Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, Washington, D.C., Salinas, California, and Southwest Florida;
  • Almost 54,000 nutrition education lessons and activities were taught in classrooms, doubling 2020 numbers;
  • Brighter Bites staff interacted directly with family members 1.75 million times at produce distribution centers; and
  • The organization received $11.24 million in-kind produce donations, up from $8.74 million in 2020.

“We’re honored and thankful to be able to share a report that so greatly reflects the dedication and efforts of our Brighter Bites’ team over the past year,” Lisa Helfman, co-founder of Brighter Bites, said in a news release. “We are also beyond grateful for all of the partners that have made our work possible and have enabled us to grow into additional regions throughout the country!”

During 2021, Brighter Bites implemented the following activities:

  • Re-launched volunteer opportunities that were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Started programming in Salinas, California, and ramped up efforts to launch in Bakersfield, California, in early 2022;
  • Secured SNAP-Ed funding from the state of California for additional growth in the coming years;
  • Hosted the Smart in the Kitchen fundraising event;
  • Conducted its first “back-to-school” fundraising campaign; and
  • Initiated infrastructure for Los Angeles programming with Food Forward as a primary partner.

“Thanks to all of our dedicated employees, our sensational business partners, and our generous supporters we were able to overcome all of the obstacles of 2021,” Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites, said in the release. “We not only maintained our program, but we grew into new schools and cities. Our future looks so bright with plans for significant growth in 2022. We are changing lives for the better, and I am thankful to all that help make it happen every day.”

This fall, Brighter Bites will celebrate its 10th year of providing fresh fruits and vegetables to families throughout the country. Beginning in Houston in 2012, the organization has grown, serving families and students in food deserts across nine major metropolitan areas, with more than 50 million pounds of fresh produce.

Brighter Bites’ 2021 annual report can be downloaded here. To learn more about

Brighter Bites, visit brighterbites.org, or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube.

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