A Public Health Opportunity Found in Food Waste
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A Public Health Opportunity Found in Food Waste

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:
    A food waste problem coexists with food insecurity and obesity. Brighter Bites, a school-based food cooperative program, successfully channels primarily donated produce to low-income communities and provides nutrition education, creating an increased demand for and intake of fruits and vegetables. We present the framework used in Brighter Bites and results of operationalizing this framework during 3 years of implementation in Houston, Texas. Results demonstrated that, during 2013 through 2016, more than 12,500 families enrolled in Brighter Bites for 16 weeks in the school year. More than 90% of the produce was donated. Each week, families received on average 54 to 61 servings of fresh produce with the average cost of produce being $2.53 per family per week. Of those parents who completed the process surveys, more than 80% reported the produce to be effective in improving their children's diet. Brighter Bites demonstrates a successful model to address food waste and improve dietary habits of underserved families.
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