Brighter Bites is actively raising funds to ensure families are able to access healthy, nutritious food during this time of unprecedented need. To kick off this campaign, Brighter Bites will host Wine for a Cause, a virtual wine silent auction, taking place Memorial Day weekend, May 22 – 25, 2020. The Produce Marketing Association has signed on as co-host of the event in support of these efforts.
Proceeds from this event will support Brighter Bites’ new emergency initiative aimed at ensuring that families who are currently enrolled in Brighter Bites have the opportunity to access fresh produce when they need it most. Brighter Bites is giving $25 produce vouchers bi-weekly to Brighter Bites households for fruit and vegetable purchases over the next two-three months. This initiative will ensure no Brighter Bites family has to forfeit health or safety in order to survive this crisis.
Brighter Bites kicked off the program in Houston and Austin in partnership with the Texas grocery retailer H-E-B, and soon followed with roll-outs in Southwest Florida in partnership with Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie stores.
With a goal of raising $150,000 between auction proceeds and financial contributions, Wine for a Cause will help ensure that Brighter Bites can support and expand this voucher system in its other cities in the coming months. For those interested in participating in the auction as a bidder, registration is now open.
“Brighter Bites’ Wine for a Cause began as an idea that Kent Shoemaker and I developed because of our mutual love for wine and our one common goal: to help at-risk families access the healthy food they need to survive this crisis.” said Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites. “What began with a few bottles of wine offered from personal collections has exploded. There are some amazing wines on this list now. I think this event will be a lot of fun, and I think we all need that right now.”
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, 25,000 families nationwide were enrolled in the Brighter Bites program across 100 schools, with each family receiving 25 pounds of fresh produce and nutrition education on a weekly basis. Then COVID-19 hit, schools shuttered, and families lost access to this fresh produce they were dependent on for daily nourishment.
“As districts closed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, many children across the U.S. lost access to their primary source of nutrition, while others lost this plus the Brighter Bites fruit and vegetable distribution. At a time when many are hurting and hungry, we need to do whatever we can to ensure families and communities have fresh fruits and vegetables on their plates,” said PMA CEO Cathy Burns.