Brighter Bites Reveals Results of Its 2020 Voucher Program; Rich Dachman and Dr. Shreela Sharma Discuss
HOUSTON, TC - Fresh produce is a cornerstone of our industry, and the importance it has in our everyday lives is immense, both from a trade perspective and as consumers ourselves. To further reach those in need, Brighter Bites rolled out its Produce Voucher Program in April 2020. Since then, the results have been fruitful, pun fully intended. The organization recently made available a report recapping Brighter Bites’ efforts surrounding its successful 2020 Voucher Program.
“All of our Brighter Bites families rely on food distribution at schools, so when everything began shutting down at the onset of the pandemic, we knew we had to respond to ensure our families were taken care of,” said Rich Dachman, Chief Executive Officer of Brighter Bites. “We’re thankful to the retail partners and other volunteers who stepped up to help make this initiative possible, ultimately infusing over $650,000 in produce purchases into the retail setting. This was a real win-win as it brought customers to retail and allowed our partners to be part of the health solutions in the communities they are in.”
Brighter Bites implemented its retail produce voucher program to help ensure families received continued access to produce and nutrition information as schools closed during the pandemic. The whitepaper was authored by Brighter Bites Co-Founder Dr. Shreela Sharma and Amier Haidar, MPH, both of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. According to the release, the document details the innovative public and private partnerships Brighter Bites established to address food insecurity during COVID-19 with the use of produce vouchers.
“The information gained and provided by retail partners on the families’ buying preferences will be used to ensure variety in the Brighter Bites program, which tracks the unique produce items provided weekly to families. This variety is strongly linked to program loyalty, ultimately translating to better health choices and outcomes,” said Dr. Sharma, Brighter Bites Co-Founder and Professor of Epidemiology at the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health.
As part of the program, families received $25 vouchers to use at partner grocery stores with the freedom to select produce that had become family favorites after repeated exposure through the Brighter Bites program. A few of the most selected items purchased using the vouchers were peppers, citrus, bananas, tomatoes, berries, avocados, mangos, onions, and corn.
Other highlights from the voucher program include:
- 12,482 families received the $25 produce vouchers bi-weekly
- Over 43,500 vouchers were sent to families in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Southwest Florida, and Washington, DC
- $652,295 in retail produce sales were generated with a 60 percent redemption rate
For more information on Brighter Bites’ 2020 Voucher Program whitepaper report click here to download.
AndNowUKnow will continue to report on partnerships and the acceleration of fresh produce consumption.