BrightSide Produce is a full-service produce distribution service operated out of the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University. The student-powered non-profit tackles food and nutrition insecurity in San Diego County by:
- distributing fresh produce to corner, liquor, and convenience stores, and small markets in underserved communities
- growing produce and sourcing from local farmers
- and reducing food waste through produce rescue, donations, and composting.
Founded in 2017, BrightSide currently delivers fresh produce to partner stores in National City and the South and Southeast regions of the City of San Diego, within and surrounding the San Diego Promise Zone. As a result of BrightSide Produce’s distribution services, the majority of residents in these communities have access to a retailer that offers fresh, affordable produce within a ten-minute walk of their homes.
BrightSide Produce is committed to increasing access to healthy food options in underserved communities through produce deliveries, while reducing food waste and strengthening the local food system in San Diego County.
- BrightSide Produce Increases Healthy Food Access through Produce Distribution
- BrightSide Produce is Managed and Operated by San Diego State University Students
- BrightSide Produce is an Established Organization in San Diego County
BrightSide Produce’s vision is for everyone in San Diego County to have access to fresh affordable produce.
BrightSide Produce Increases Healthy Food Access through Produce Distribution
San Diego Communities
The Problem: Lower-income and ethnically-diverse communities have more liquor, corner, and small food stores than supermarkets and these stores provide limited healthy food options. Unhealthy eating and household food insecurity, or lack of consistent access to nutritious, safe, and culturally-appropriate food for a healthy, active life are associated with adverse mental and physical health outcomes in children and adults.
The Solution: BrightSide Produce developed and implemented a produce distribution service that increases produce accessibility, availability, and affordability in underserved communities by working with small and medium-sized food, corner, and liquor stores already located within and serving the communities. BrightSide Produce distributes produce to partner stores in National City and the City of San Diego weekly and provides storeowners with a suite of services to ensure that they can successfully and profitably stock produce.
Community Impact: BrightSide Produce delivers produce weekly to stores in National City and in the City of San Diego. As a result of Brightside Produce’s distribution to its partner stores, the majority of residents in these communities have access to fresh produce within a ten-minute walk of their homes.
The Problem: Food insecurity on university campuses is a growing concern for universities. According to a study conducted for the California State University (CSU) System, approximately 24% of CSU students experience food insecurity, which translates to approximately 8,000 San Diego State University (SDSU) students.
The Solution: BrightSide is committed to increasing access to affordable fresh produce on SDSU campus through produce sales and donations. On the SDSU Campus, BrightSide Produce operates the BrightSide Produce Stand, which is located outside of the SDSU Bookstore. The BrightSide Produce Stand offers fresh fruits and vegetables, including farm-fresh produce from our local partners, and is open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members. Visit us on Thursdays to “pay what you want” and help support our SDSU community.
The BrightSide Produce Stand provides the SDSU community a convenient on-campus option for fresh produce. It allows SDSU community members to have access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting deliveries of produce to underserved communities.
BrightSide Produce is Managed and Operated by San Diego State University Students
BrightSide Produce is operated by undergraduate and graduate students at SDSU. BrightSide Produce provides students with the opportunity to have a direct impact on the local community. Students are involved in a transformational learning experience that fosters an appreciation for community needs and motivates innovative thinking to address them.
Students who participate in BrightSide Produce activities have the opportunity to represent BrightSide Produce and provide education about food insecurity in our local communities at community events and through partnerships with local schools and non-profits.
Students interested in joining the BrightSide Produce team can apply to the BrightSide Produce Internship Program, which is offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and may be eligible to earn course credit for their participation.
BrightSide Produce is an Established Organization in San Diego County
Since its launch, BrightSide Produce has had a noticeable, short-term, and long-term impact in the communities it serves. It is an experienced and established organization committed to improving food access, reducing food waste, and ending hunger in San Diego. It literally increases access to healthy foods in underserved communities by delivering produce to stores weekly, reaching residents near their homes and in their communities, and improving health and wellness in communities experiencing social and health inequities.
BrightSide advances health and wellness for vulnerable populations in San Diego County by tackling food insecurity, reducing food waste, strengthening the local food system, and contributing to economic development. It has established relationships and partnerships with over 50 non-profit, for-profit and and government organizations working to address food access challenges and hunger in San Diego.
Awards and Recognition
For more information about BrightSide Produce, including any questions or requests for information on how to join our team or contribute to our efforts, please email [email protected].