Pilot Light’s new program aims to bridge the gap between the classroom and the cafeteria…

The Program:

Pilot Light’s new Classroom to Cafeteria (C2C) program creates a school-wide Food Education culture. Through C2C, educators build meaningful relationships with their school food professionals. Ultimately, the bridge between the classroom and the cafeteria is built as a result of students learning about the food being served in their school cafeteria during regular classroom instruction. 

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WATCH Director of School and District Partnerships Eileen explains how C2C works in schools! 

The Goal: 

C2C’s goal is to build a school-wide Food Education culture through meaningful collaboration opportunities between instructional staff and school food professionals. Furthermore, we strive to inspire student curiosity about the food being served in their cafeterias and appreciation for school nutrition programs in Classroom to Cafeteria schools. 

The Model: 

C2C students learn a root vegetables lesson, showing how food can be used in classrooms to enrich learning experiences.
C2C students learn a root vegetables lesson

Classroom to Cafeteria consists of seven School Food lessons aligned to our Food Education Standards. Additionally, participating educators collaborate with Pilot Light to develop curriculum resources that work for their classrooms. Finally, Pilot Light hosts monthly professional development sessions for educators to develop Food Education knowledge and skills. Read more about Pilot Light’s teacher-centered Food Education model here.

The Results: 

Over 200 students in NYC Public Schools classrooms have participated in C2C to date. Following the pilot program, educators reported a 25% increase in student knowledge about food’s sources and origins. Furthermore, 90% of teachers agreed their students were interested in participating in school-prepared food. 

“I was thrilled [to see] the increase in engagement in discussion and engagement in completing the academic tasks. My students…are now much more conscious of the food they are eating and their food choices. The program did a great job of helping students make connections between content and their own life.” 

-2023 C2C educator 

The Future: 

“Food can bring us together and food might give you a memory that you will never forget.” 

-3rd grade C2C student 

Presently, Pilot Light is excited to continue collaborating with the New York City Department of Education as they invest in Food Education as a vital component of long-term student success. Additionally, we’re excited to expand to more districts in the coming school year. If you are interested in bringing C2C to your school district, sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest updates about all of Pilot Light’s Food Education programs.

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