February 2023: SnackTime Explorers makes headlines, plus upcoming events!

Pilot Light Charts New Territory with SnackTime Explorers & an Incoming Flurry Events in Chicago! 

Programming Updates: Hitting the Airways, Making Headlines, and Going Platinum 

This February, Pilot Light was honored to be featured on Reset, WBEZ’s midday news program, discussing the SnackTime Explorers pilot program in Chicago Public Schools! Listen now to our own Eileen Torpy explaining the origins of the SnackTime Explorers toolkit & the benefits of integrating Food Education into FFVP classrooms. Thank you to the entire WBEZ-NPR and Reset teams for this opportunity to share about SnackTime Explorers! Listen now.

Additionally, the SnackTime Explorers toolkit has received a wave of media attention from the produce news community! Check out these articles from Farm Week Now, Perishable News, The Packer, AndNowUKnow, Blue Book Services, and Patch.com to learn more about our partnership with FRESHEALTH in our mission to bring the SnackTime Explorers toolkit to students & educators across the country! 

Pilot Light hits the road!

In early February, Pilot Light staff members Alex & Eileen were welcomed by the team at FRESHEALTH in Columbus, OH for a tour of their fresh-cut produce facility and strategizing sessions for the future of our joint SnackTime Explorers program. We even got a taste of the authentic SnackTime Explorer experience when Eileen sampled a kumquat for the first time! The entire FRESHEALTH team made us feel incredibly welcome and we’re energized to grow the reach of SnackTime Explorers further in the coming school year & beyond.

In other news, Pilot Light is proud to announce that we have earned our 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid-Guidestar. Read our updated Nonprofit profile and learn more about our operations, organizational structure, and mission to shape an equitable food systems future through Food Education. 

Partnerships & Events 

Looking for more ways to support Pilot Light? We have a fantastic lineup of upcoming events & partnerships in March!

An (after-school) Teacher’s Cure

All March long, our friends at Mordecai in Wrigleyville (3632 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613) will be mixing up the Teacher’s Cure cocktail – an updated take on the Penicillin – with a portion of each sale benefitting Pilot Light! The Teacher’s Cure is a classic cross-seasonal drink ripe with smoke, spirit, ginger, and tropical fruit notes. We’re honored to receive support from the expert mixologists at Mordecai who design a “Cocktail for a Cause” every month. Stop in to Mordecai all March long and try one for yourself – and mark your calendars of Cubs Opening Day (March 30) to grab a refreshment at Mordecai before or after the game!

Shucking Off

Pilot Light is also proud to once again be selected as the beneficiary of the annual Shuck Off at The Publican. This  One Off Hospitality event brings together 6 of Chicago’s best chefs for a one night only oyster shucking extravaganza! On March 2, 2023, Chefs Paul Kahan, Rick Bayless, Tony Priolo, Dominique Leach, Steven Sandoval, and Matthias Merges will take turns shucking $1 Island Creek oysters with all oyster sales proceeds directly benefiting Pilot Light. Excitement around the Shuck Off this year resulted in a complete ticket sellout in less than 24 hours, but you can still sign up to join the waitlist for each time slot in case reservations become available! Thank you again to The Publican & One Off Hospitality teams for supporting Pilot Light. We hope to see you there! 

Associate Board Trivia & Raffle Night!

Lastly, be sure to mark your calendar for Thursday March 16th – Pilot Light’s Associate Board will present a special Trivia & Raffle Night at Paulie Gee’s in Logan Square (2451 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647). Join us at 7 PM for an evening of trivia, food, drink, and fun! Featuring a lineup of stellar raffle prizes from local restaurants and organizations with raffle ticket sales directly benefiting Pilot Light. Tables will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis – grab your buds and thinking caps! Additional details to come: be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest updates. 

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