National organization helps San Antonio students, families eat healthier

Brighter Bites is partnering with area schools, tries to teach nutrition education

SAN ANTONIO – February is Heart Health Awareness Month and part of a healthy heart is healthy eating.

Brighter Bites is an organization partnered with several San Antonio area schools to try and make sure young students have what they need food wise now and for the future.

“Our students and our families are exposed to new fruits and vegetables. We’re kind of often used to the same things. And so, with Brighter Bites coming in, we’re giving the students opportunities to look at and try new things and get new fruits,” Scarlett Garcia said.

Gracia is the principal at Stonewall Flanders Elementary and sees first hand how Brighter Bites is making a difference in the community.

“We’ve seen our kids come in excited, so they really know when Brighter Bites is coming. They look forward to the new fruits and vegetables that they bring to us, even for our families. They wanted to come in and help, you know, donate and pass out and so forth. But they’re looking forward to making new meals at home,” Garcia said.

Brighter Bites is a national nonprofit, one that focuses on nutrition education and is done in the classroom.

“Food access is a struggle here in the city. And so, what we’re trying to do is provide some extra supports for our families. So by incorporating brighter bites into the schools, we are putting fresh fruits and vegetables directly into the hands of these kids and their families,” Elizabeth Velarde, with Brighter Bites said.

The idea is really easy to process. Three times a week families can pull up to the location and get fresh fruits and veggies in a bag – 20 pounds worth.

“This allows us to teach our kids, you know, the snacks that they like to eat. This is going to be better if they have a new fruit or vegetable to try and bring it in for their health,” Garcia said.

The healthy eating habits are also incorporated into physical education classes and the idea is that students take the concepts and food home with them. So it could be just the start.

“Right now we are partnered with Harlandale ISD. We’re in six of their elementary schools, and our goal is to expand in the fall to incorporate six more of their elementary schools,” Velarde said.

You can find out more about the program by clicking here.

About the Authors:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.