Our chefs and teachers partner in using food to support effective teaching and learning in the classroom that improves academic and health outcomes for students. Our mission is to provide all children with the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to make healthier choices.

In Chicago, the rates of childhood overweight and obesity are nearly twice the national estimate – especially in low-income communities. At the same time, our schools are struggling to meet academic performance standards. Food education often takes a backseat.

Pilot Light fills the gap. We support and guide our teachers in weaving food and nutrition education into everyday subjects like English, math, social studies and science.

The program fosters collaborations between chefs and teachers through professional development with the goals of integrating food education into the school curriculum and equipping teachers to harness food resources within their schools and communities to enhance classroom learning.


The Pilot Light Instructional Model is designed to inspire students to make healthier food choices. Chefs and educators work together to develop their own unique lessons that align to academic standards and our own Pilot Light Standards for food and nutrition education. The model engages students and guides them to make connections between the classroom, the home, and the community through the lens of food.

Check out our previous Student Food Advocacy Projects!


Learn more about Pilot Light

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