Our mission: To empower children and teens in food deserts with nutrition education and access to produce
Who We Are
The Betty Jean Brown Foundation is a children’s charity founded to empower youths to serve their communities. As a community-building organization, we directly address the needs and challenges of food insecurity by inspiring children to eat more fruits and vegetables.
As part of brightening the lives of others, Betty Jean Brown provided for the education of those she loved, passionately shared her love of Southern cuisine, and ensured her patients were comfortable and happy. Whether family members or patients she served as a nurse’s assistant, anyone who walked in her presence felt true love. It is quite fitting that Betty Jean Brown Foundation continues this legacy of brightening the lives of many through nutrition and love.
Based on a recent study, 8.5% of high school students nationwide met fruit recommendations and 2.1% met vegetable recommendations. Additionally, 27% of young children do not consume a single serving of vegetables on a given day, according to the latest findings from the landmark Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS). Among the toddlers who do, French Fries are the number one vegetable consumed.
The result is that 1 in 5 children and adolescents in the US have obesity, face challenges in concentration, and may even have behavioral issues due to nutritional deficits. Community service foundations, as well as government agencies, have stepped up to take action to prevent such outcomes.
Who was Betty Jean brown?
Born into an entrepreneurial family in Vicksburg, MS, Betty Jean Brown grew up learning the value of hard work. From picking cotton to taking care of the family farm, she always had something to do.
The Brown family moved to Oakland, CA in 1940, while Betty was still a teenager. When she became an adult, she moved to neighboring Pittsburg, CA, where she got a job as a supervisor at a Del Monte Foods Factory.
Betty excelled both in her role as a supervisor, and as a homemaker caring for her family. She left her supervisor position in the ’70s but, not content to rest on her laurels, went on to nursing school. There she excelled, and soon got a job as a nursing assistant. Betty’s compassion and perseverance served her well in her new role. One of the ways in which Betty showed her love was by cooking.
She’d kept the Southern culinary roots, using fresh ingredients for the Soul Food recipes that she shared with her family and friends.
We believe that one of the best ways to show care is through food. We carry on Betty Jean Brown’s values by helping ensure that kids get the nutritious food that they need and deserve. This is why our foundation bears her name
What we do for children and youth
The Betty Jean Brown Foundation delivers fresh fruit and vegetables bi-weekly at no charge to children and teens in under-served communities. In NYC alone, 1 in 3 children experiences food insecurity.
A $1,000 donation to the Betty Jean Brown Foundation gives the gift of health and health-giving food to children and teens in need. By supporting the Betty Jean Brown Foundation, you’re giving these children and teens a better chance at developing healthy lifelong habits.
The US federal government spends $100 billion a year on various interventions for improving outcomes for low-income households, including encouraging people to consume more fresh produce.