Innovative Partnerships to Address Food Insecurity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Brighter Bites Produce Voucher Program

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 31;18(17):9175. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18179175.


The purpose of this communication is to describe the Brighter Bites produce voucher program, and its implementation and utilization across Brighter Bites families in four cities in the U.S., during the COVID-19 pandemic. The voucher program was implemented over nine weeks starting April 2020, with up to four USD 25 store-specific produce coupons sent bi-weekly to the homes of each participating Brighter Bites family (USD 100 total/family). Measures included type of produce purchased, amount of voucher that was used, number of vouchers distributed and redeemed by families, and a post-program participant satisfaction survey. Descriptive statistics, including count, frequency, and percent, were computed, both overall and stratified by city. During this time, Brighter Bites distributed a total of over 43,982 vouchers to 12,482 low-income families, with a redemption rate of 60% (at least one voucher redeemed) across all cities. During times of crisis, non-profit-for-profit partnerships, such as the one between Brighter Bites and the grocery retail industry, are feasible, and successful in providing produce to families in need.

Keywords: COVID-19; non-profit–for-profit partnerships; produce voucher program; vulnerable populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Food Insecurity
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vegetables