Brighter Bites’ Rich Dachman Discusses Recent California Expansion
HOUSTON, TX - I am all for any effort to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the tables of more consumers, and Brighter Bites’ efforts to do this are abundant. Making its mark on the state of California, the nonprofit organization recently expanded into the Salinas, Los Angeles, and Bakersfield regions to continue amplifying access to fresh produce across a vast range of communities.
“It's important to Brighter Bites that we reach families in both rural and urban environments with our behavior-changing program,” explained Rich Dachman, Chief Executive Officer. “We were excited by the opportunity to bring our program to this unique state, with a wide variety of communities in all corners. We were lucky to have some existing relationships in the Salinas Valley, which helped us launch there first in early 2021.”
Shortly after, the organization secured funding via the University of California, Davis’ CalFresh Healthy Living program, allowing it to expand into Los Angeles, and then Bakersfield. A multitude of partnerships has made Brighter Bites’ expansion successful, including Grimmway Farms and Cal-Organic in Bakersfield, Food Forward in Los Angeles, and River Fresh Farms, Taylor Farms, Walmart Foundation, Dole Food Company, Andrew Smith Co, Drew Massa Cooling, Windset Farms, Wonderful Citrus, and Zepeda Express in the Salinas region.
“We wouldn't be able to continue our expansion in California or other parts of the country without continued support from the produce industry and program partners,” adds Rich. “Our deepest gratitude and thanks go out to the partners who have made our program possible. This support comes in a variety of ways, from a direct donation to logistics or warehouse support. Thank you to these partners for making it possible for California Brighter Bites families to learn to love fruits and vegetables.”
As Rich notes, this expansion also brings benefits to the communities of the growers who help make this program possible.
“Brighter Bites depends on close and productive relationships with the fresh produce industry to help maintain a continuous supply of a wide variety of fresh produce to our participating schools and families,” Rich says. “We also know that frequently, farmworkers themselves would benefit from a program like Brighter Bites that could teach their families how to cook and prepare a wide variety of fresh produce items in their homes. Launching a program like Brighter Bites in cities like Salinas and Bakersfield enables us to bring this program directly to growers and their surrounding communities.”
As the organization continues to expand and increase access to fresh produce, ANUK will report.