Last Tuesday, May 8, Pilot Light chefs and staff joined together with teachers, parents, students and community members to discuss the current challenges they are facing and ideate on how food education can be a catalyst to create change and drive progress within their communities.
School teachers and staff from Ray Elementary school in Hyde Park, Bass Elementary school in Englewood and UChicago Charter School Donoghue Campus gathered around the table to discuss the needs of their students and surrounding communities. The discussion broached a variety of topics from student engagement and parent involvement, to how the school and communities can come together and use food education to increase engagement, employment and improve quality of life.
These issues cannot be solved quickly. But, as former First Lady, Michelle Obama said, “The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake. This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved overnight, but with everyone working together, it can be solved.”
From hosting community garden nights and providing support to parents through meal prep groups, to establishing community meals where parents, community members, seniors and students could prepare meals and eat together — the ideas and willingness to join together were limitless.
As the school year wraps up, Pilot Light continues to look for ways to increase food education and create community connections. Pilot Light is applying for the Acting Up Awards, where we would receive a grant from The Chicago Community Trust to implement the aforementioned plans during the 2018-2019 school year.
Be sure and try our Culinary Director, Justin Behlke’s, Sunflower Seed and Herb Dip — a perfect snack for your upcoming summer BBQ.