Fresh Food for Families: Brighter Bites Promotes Healthy Eating
Children in the United States generally do not consume enough fruits and vegetables, according to national nutrition studies. Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that operates in six locations in the U.S., including Southwest Florida, has set out to change that deficit by using a three-step formula: (1) Fill plates with fresh seasonal produce for families and teachers to bring home. (2) Educate kids, parents and teachers about making the most of the food. (3) Make the experience fun by using recipes and sampling.
Each student in the program receives two grocery bags containing about 50 servings of fruits and vegetables—enough for a week’s worth for a family of four. Brighter Bites also hands out nutrition education handbooks and weekly tip sheets and recipes. Teachers use the bags to provide hands-on lessons about the food given to the students.
Brighter Bites operates in five schools in Collier County: Eden Park Elementary, Lake Trafford Elementary, Pinecrest Elementary, RCMA Immokalee Community School and Parkside Elementary, according to Rosmery Garcia, program coordinator for Southwest Florida. This year, the food will be distributed in safe and contactless drive-thrus or walk-up lines. An adult must pick up the food during the designated time, regardless of whether the child is on campus that day. A Brighter Bites app is available for contactless check-in. Those without phone access will be accommodated. “Since recipe samples will not be available, we will be posting recipe videos on our social media and texting families the links and recipes,” explains Garcia.
For more information: Brighter Bites – SW Florida, 3940 Prospect Ave, #101, Naples; brighterbites.org.