Partnership for a Healthier America Honors Brighter Bites and The Walking Classroom Institute with 2018 Impact Award

Part of PHA’s Catalyst for Change Awards, Companies Will Be Recognized for Their Unique Approaches to Address Childhood Obesity

Washington, D.C. (August 6, 2018) – Today, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) announced two recipients of its 2018 Catalyst for Change Awards, which honors organizations and community leaders who exemplify positive change by creating solutions to ensure that all children and young adults - especially those disproportionately affected - will live healthier lives, growing up to be adults free from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. This year’s Impact Award recipients, part of PHA’s Catalyst for Change Awards, are Brighter Bites and The Walking Classroom.

“There is great power in community and each of these award winners demonstrate that bringing people together for a greater mission can transform lives and create lasting change,” said PHA President and CEO Nancy E. Roman.

Both Brighter Bites and The Walking Classroom Institute demonstrate measurable impact and use innovative approaches to address childhood obesity.

Brighter Bites supports better health and nutrition education by providing produce and in-class nutrition lessons in Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, southwest Florida and Washington, D.C. It has been instrumental in changing the eating habits of youth across the country with 98 percent of participants increasing their consumption of fresh produce, and 74 percent maintaining the increased level after the end of the program season.

“Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided fresh produce and nutrition education to tens of thousands of families, because we know that when people have healthier options, they live healthier lives,” said Brighter Bites founder Lisa Helfman. “We are incredibly proud to accept this award, and honored to work alongside organizations like the Partnership for a Healthier America to find innovative, community-focused solutions to tackling the pressing problem of childhood obesity.”

In North Carolina, The Walking Classroom Institute’s innovative “Walk, Listen and Learn” methodology capitalizes on the favorable link between exercise and cognitive function. Students take brisk, 20-minute walks while listening to custom-written, kid-friendly educational podcasts that come preloaded on “WalkKit” audio devices. Student enthusiasm is extraordinary, with 84 percent saying that they enjoy walking more and 85 percent agreeing that the program has helped them make healthier choices.

“Kids love the fact that they’re getting out of the classroom. What they don’t often realize is how much they’re learning and how much that fresh air and exercise is improving their health,” says CEO and program creator Laura Fenn. “This Partnership for a Healthier America award is such an honor and will go far in helping us achieve our mission of bringing joy back to the classroom while improving student health and academic achievement.”

Both winners will be recognized at the PHA Fit to Celebrate Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.) on September 27, 2018. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

About Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) PHA’s mission is to leverage the power of the private sector to bring lasting systemic changes that improve the food supply, increase healthy choices, increase physical activity and contribute to a culture of health. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA identifies, accelerates and celebrates voluntary business practices that improve or increase choice or lead to new norms and behavior around food and physical activity. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

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 17 million pounds of produce and 100,000s of nutrition education materials to more than 53,000 families and 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 The Walking Classroom A national award-winning education program, The Walking Classroom provides students with an innovative way to get exercise without sacrificing instructional time. The Walking Classroom Institute, a 501 c 3 nonprofit, was founded by CEO/Creator Laura Fenn, a former 5th grade teacher with over 15 years of classroom experience. Laura developed The Walking Classroom program as a way to add exercise to the school day without sacrificing instructional time. While all students benefit from the increased activity and educational content of The Walking Classroom, children with low academic achievement and childhood obesity stand to benefit the most. Students with alternative learning styles such as ADHD, dyslexia, or autism also benefit from the program. The Walking Classroom program is now used by tens of thousands of students in all 50 states. Learn more at

Toni Carey, Partnership for a Healthier America