Press Release: Robin Hood Awards Brighter Bites Grant to Fund Queens, NY Programming

Robin Hood Awards Brighter Bites Grant, Providing Additional Resources to Families During COVID-19 Crisis

Grant allowed for additional produce distributions in the NYC/Queens Area 


Houston, TX (June 30, 2020) – As part of its commitment to create healthier communities free of hunger during the COVID-19 crisis, the poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood directed a $30,000 grant to Brighter Bites, supporting home delivery of free, fresh produce to families living in several Queens neighborhoods highly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This emergency initiative allowed the nonprofit to continue to serve 2000 Brighter Bites families in Queens that were already receiving fresh fruits and vegetables from the nonprofit before COVID-19 began to spread throughout the borough.


The Robin Hood funded program included a partnership with the Connected Chef, a culinary education company that designed the delivery model and re-employed chefs and cooks who have lost viable sources of food due to shortened hours and job losses to pack and deliver the produce. This collaboration ensured that families living in the hardest hit zip codes received fresh immune-boosting produce, valuable nutrition information, and cooking tips delivered to their door to reduce risk of exposure. Brighter Bites and its partners distributed a total of 296,965 lbs of mixed produce during May and June, allowing for 2,000 care packages to be distributed per week. Distributions took place in the Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, Astoria, and East Elmhurst neighborhoods.

“Brighter Bites NYC was incredibly proud to be the recipient of a generous Robin Hood Relief Fund grant allowing us to safely distribute nutritious fresh food to families suffering during this time,” said Melanie Button, Regional Program Director, Brighter Bites. “As an organization, we were adamant that school closures would not stop us from continuing to provide produce to our families, but we knew that we would need to shift our model. This Robin Hood grant ensured that we were able to do that…setting off a spectacular, community-based operation.”

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the organization served over 25,000 families nationwide enrolled in the program across 100 schools, with each family receiving 25 lbs. of fresh produce and nutrition education on a weekly basis. Then COVID-19 hit, schools shuttered, and families lost access to this fresh produce they were dependent on for daily nourishment.

“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, one in three parents were reducing or skipping meals to feed their children and two million of our neighbors were at risk of going hungry,” said Emary Aronson, Chief Knowledge Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO at Robin Hood. “We are proud to support Brighter Bites’ initiative to quickly get food into the hands of families in the hardest hit neighborhoods in Queens.”

About Brighter Bites:

Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschool, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided more than 27 million pounds of produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 275,000 individuals (including teachers) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit

About Robin Hood:

Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. Robin Hood invests nearly $120 million annually to provide legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at