( The Produce Moms/Brighter Bites )

The Produce Moms is celebrating its association with Brighter Bites and promoting the mission of the nonprofit group to both its industry and consumer audiences.

A little more than a year ago, Lori Taylor, CEO and founder of The Produce Moms, launched the group’s podcast with its first guest, Lisa Helfman, founder of Brighter Bites.

Brighter Bites provides families and teachers in under-served communities with fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition education to decrease diet-related chronic disease. 

In early December, The Produce Moms and Brighter Bites announced their newly formed alignment with the podcast’s 75th episode. The podcast featured Taylor and Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites and former vice president of produce for Sysco.

“When I heard about Brighter Bites and met Lisa, I was immediately drawn to the great work Brighter Bites is doing,” Taylor said in a news release. “The mantra and ethos of Brighter Bites is creating communities of health through fresh food and I love that! I’m so enthusiastic to align with Brighter Bites, support their organization and help leverage TPM’s platform to better advance the program, and inform more folks about this amazing work they’re doing.” 

Taylor founded The Produce Moms in 2012 as an idea and “blog with a mission” to get Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, she said in the release. The Produce Moms now has a community of more than 1.4 million users in all 50 states and over 30 countries, nearly 100 brand partnerships with grocers and suppliers, a North American relationship with Nickelodeon and Viacom and a national partnership with Kroger, according to the release.

While some have suggested to Taylor that The Produce Moms should start its own nonprofit group, Taylor said on the podcast that she is excited to embrace Brighter Bites as its “cause marketing” effort.

“As TPM has grown, we wanted to make sure we were giving back, and I feel like the most important thing we can do right now is support Brighter Bites,” Taylor said in the release, adding that the Brighter Bites model is working. She said in the release that two years after participating in the program, an average Brighter Bites family consumes 19 additional servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per week, even after they have stopped receiving free produce.

Since it began in 2012, Brighter Bites has delivered over 25 million pounds of fresh produce to school children and their families in six cities around the U.S. Dachman said on the podcast that Brighter Bites serves more than 25,000 families and is growing at a very rapid rate. Brighter Bites is currently active in Houston; Dallas; Austin, Texas; New York; Washington, D.C.; and southeast Florida and is looking to add more cities soon, he said.

“Exposure means everything to us in our efforts to expand,” Dachman said in the release. “Our strategic alliance with The Produce Moms allows us to tap into an established platform with the wide produce industry and consumer audience cultivated by Lori and the TPM team,” he said, noting that Brighter Bites appreciates the importance of having The Produce Moms' many supporters behind the effort.

Dachman said in the podcast that Brighter Bites resonates with everyone who hears about its mission, and he thanked Taylor for helping to spread the message. “Without exception, I have never talked about Brighter Bites, and what we do and how we do it, and not have someone go, ‘That’s amazing, I want to support that,’” he said on the podcast. “Once people hear about it, and once people see it, they’ll be behind it because it’s just an extraordinary program that’s selfless and helps people in so many ways.”

The Produce Moms' podcast with Taylor and Dachman is available online. Dachman invited produce industry contributions of product and time to Brighter Bites at the group’s website.

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