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Nonprofit comes to Kern County, providing rural communities with fresh produce

Creating "a community of health"
Posted at 7:18 AM, May 10, 2022

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Fresh food is a luxury not everyone can afford, but a new nonprofit is changing that.

"Especially out here in Lamont, where here in this specific area, there is a lot of food deserts. It's pretty far away from any grocery stores [so] there's also a lack of access to these healthy foods," said Sonia Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is Bakersfield's Senior Program Manager with Brighter Bites.

Brighter Bites works with cities across the nation and just came to Kern County. They’re providing families in rural communities, like the
Vineland School District, with bags of fresh food every two weeks.

“The bags [are] actually a learning tool for kids to know about healthy eating habits and get them kind of familiar with some just fresh new foods," said Rodriguez.

The bags also come with nutrition handbooks, equipping students and their families with the knowledge to create healthy meals.

Grimmway Farms is supporting Brighter Bites with a three-year $60,000 commitment and weekly produce donations.

"It’s really been a blessing. Brighter Bites is an amazing organization that has a longstanding history of this, and as do we, so it was really just a natural marrying of our two missions," said V.P. of Government and Public Affairs Dana Brennan.

Families sign up through their schools. Brighter Bites then hosts a distribution event for them.

“I hope that they’re able to work as a family to [bring] fresh produce to the table, work together on just all sorts of things, recipes, and maybe getting introduced to [things] that they don’t necessarily have access to, so we’re excited," said Brennan.

Encouraging healthy habits from a young age.

“Really, what we’re out here to do is create a community of health," said Rodriguez.

If you’d like to get your school involved with Brighter Bites, click here.

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