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Friday, June 18, 2021

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BrightSide Produce delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to stores located in underserved communities. (Photo: Fowler College of Business) BrightSide Produce delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to stores located in underserved communities. (Photo: Fowler College of Business)
 


Student-Driven Enterprise Receives National Award

Brightside Produce, a student-driven enterprise within the Fowler College of Business, has been recognized for its efforts of bringing fresh produce to underserved communities.
By SDSU News Team
 

BrightSide Produce, a student-driven enterprise within the Fowler College of Business, has been recognized with a 2021 Innovations That Inspire award from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. 

BrightSide Produce delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to stores located in underserved communities where residents experience a lack of access, availability and means to purchase healthy food. 

“On behalf of myself, the students, and the partners who have contributed to BrightSide Produce’s activities and have supported its efforts, we are honored to be recognized for the work that has gone into the organization and the good it has done for the community,” said SDSU marketing professor Iana Castro, a renowned expert in the area of food retailing.

AACSB International, which sets the standards of excellence for more than 840 accredited business schools worldwide, honored BrightSide Produce for its work in “cultivating a position at the intersection of academia and practice.” Now in its sixth year, the  Innovations That Inspire initiative has highlighted more than 160 business school efforts that exemplify forward-looking approaches to education, research, community engagement or outreach, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business “has embraced the call to create positive societal impact and it is our privilege to recognize BrightSide Produce San Diego among the 2021 Innovations That Inspire initiative,” said Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, AACSB president and CEO. 

Established by Castro in 2017, BrightSide Produce aims to specifically address the need for an innovative student learning experience that could offer in-person preparation for the workplace, and a solution to food insecurity, a pressing issue facing communities nationwide.

BrightSide Produce is managed by SDSU students who carry out operational functions as they gain valuable hands-on experience running a distribution business that operates as a non-profit. Students also work with retailers to introduce, manage and grow a new product category (produce) to meet the needs of the local community. 

“At BrightSide Produce, our vision is for everyone to have access to fresh, affordable produce and we are working toward making this vision a reality,” said Castro.

To date, BrightSide Produce has delivered over 239,000 units of produce through weekly deliveries to 18 liquor, corner and small food stores, reaching thousands of store customers each week. In the National City area, BrightSide Produce delivers to 13 stores, providing the city’s 61,000 residents with access to fresh produce within a mile of their homes.