Brighter Bites Receives $1.5 Million Grant From The Walmart Foundation
HOUSTON, TX - Brighter Bites has recently been at the center of very exciting news as companies across the produce industry have outstretched their hands in support of the organization that is making an important impact on the lives of those in need. The organization’s latest partnership comes from the Walmart Foundation as it has given Brighter Bites a $1.5 million grant to expand its program in diverse communities across the United States.
The grant will support the organization’s response to COVID-19 as it works tirelessly to grow its services in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, Texas; the Washington, DC metro area; New York City, New York; and Florida, as well as an expansion to Brighter Bites’ first city in California.
“Brighter Bites is incredibly grateful for the Walmart Foundation’s ongoing support, especially at a time when an unprecedented number of families are struggling to put fresh, immune-boosting food on the table,” said Rich Dachman, Brighter Bites CEO. “This grant provides the resources we need to rapidly innovate in order to safely bring our program back to schools this fall without missing a beat.”
As Brighter Bites experienced a 2,000 percent increase in demand for its services this past summer due to the pandemic, the grant couldn’t have come at a better time for the organization. According to a press release, the effects of COVID-19 have caused an increase in health disparities in nutrition and obesity in minority groups as access to fresh, healthy, affordable foods are scarce, which is why Brighter Bites is using the grant money to help these suffering communities.
“Access to healthy food builds the foundation for good health in communities,” said Eileen Hyde, Director of Sustainability, Food Systems, and Food Access for Walmart.org. “Our goal is to improve people’s ability to more consistently consume nutritious food, and we’re thrilled to support Brighter Bites who work every day to do just that.”
This school year, Brighter Bites is working to establish a safe, back-to-school program that will enroll nearly 30,000 underserved families across 126 schools nationwide in the organization’s program. Each week, the families will receive specially curated boxes filled with 8–12 different produce items, weighing a total of 20–25 pounds. Those enrolled will also receive nutrition information materials and recipes to help families create healthy meals together.
Because of the safety concerns due to COVID-19, this year the organization will pay distributors to pre-pack produce into individual boxes which families will receive via carpool lanes. The organization is also working with famers to increase distribution of fresh produce that may have gone to waste.
Brighter Bites will also be streamlining its processes through the use of QR codes instead of traditional printed materials in order to provide recipes, tips, and nutrition information. The organization will be incorporating virtual cooking demonstrations and social media engagement in this year’s program.
As Brighter Bites continues its mission to help as many families as possible as the pandemic poses new challenges, it is the generosity and help of industry partners like Walmart and the countless others who have stepped in that make everything possible. We here at ANUK salute those who have contributed to Brighter Bites, and the organization itself for its extensive work.