BrightSide Produce: Creating equitable access to fresh fruits and veggies

Abdi and Justa with one of their corner market fruit and veggie stands

January 1, 2023

Access to fresh and affordable produce is a challenge faced by many low-income communities, often referred to as “food deserts.” However, Brightside Produce, a groundbreaking organization founded in 2014 in the Twin Cities, is on a mission to improve equitable access to fresh fruits and vegetables. They have developed a unique, sustainable model to make this all happen. BrightSide has stepped up to be a sponsor of our February 10 visit from Dr. Michael Greger and we want you to know about their exciting work.

BrightSide Produce’s primary goal is to improve access to fresh and affordable produce in low-income neighborhoods. In these neighborhoods, residents often have to rely on small convenience stores as their primary source of groceries. These stores often lack fresh fruits and vegetables because they often can’t meet the minimum order amount required by wholesalers. And when they do get produce, they have to pay more and charge more. But with BrightSide, store owners can order as little as they want and still get a break on costs. 

Abdi stocking a produce stand

BrightSide buys in bulk at wholesale. They charge stores only 10% above wholesale costs, ensuring they can offer affordable prices to their customers. Then they make weekly deliveries to the stores to ensure a reliable supply of fresh produce. Additionally, BrightSide offers a buy-back option, helping stores mitigate the risk of stocking perishable items on their shelves. With this support, these local stores can offer a better selection at lower prices.

These supports are funded in part through a food justice surcharge on their regular produce delivery service. These weekly home deliveries of fresh produce are available to households throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. The profits generated allow BrightSide to pay their community youth employees a fair wage and offer the aforementioned benefits to local retailers.

In 2020, their work to create an equitable local food system expanded to include a Pay-What-You-Can home delivery option. Recipients pay whatever they can afford each week, and donors fill in the gaps. This approach ensures that access to fresh produce is not limited by financial constraints or where you live.

BrightSide’s impact extends beyond providing fresh produce. They have developed a curriculum for college classes focused on social justice and resilient local food systems. Additionally, BrightSide actively participates in public health research, contributing to the body of knowledge surrounding food justice and community well-being.

Look for BrightSide’s produce in convenience stores near you or sign up for home delivery. Those of you in the delivery area with the means to do so can subscribe to get a weekly produce bundle delivered. Gift subscriptions are available to give or receive. In addition you can donate or help by volunteering. For more information go to:

By supporting  BrightSide, you contribute to their mission of “eliminating food insecurity in urban areas by bridging communities through people and produce.”

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