DNO Produce's FRESHEALTH Partners With Pilot Light to Launch SnackTime Explorers Program; Alex DiNovo and Eileen Torpy Comment
CHICAGO, IL - A world exploration is about to ensue as DNO Produce helps elementary students get their hands on their produce passports through a new SnackTime Explorers initiative. Local food education nonprofit Pilot Light and fresh-cut produce provider FRESHEALTH have formed a strategic alliance, setting out to enhance the impact of the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
“In serving hundreds of school districts, we’ve come to learn that kids actually do love eating their fruits and vegetables,” said Alex DiNovo, President of FRESHEALTH, of which DNO Produce is the exclusive provider. “When children are engaged in a multi-sensory learning experience, especially as they try new foods for the first time, we find a jump in adoption and future consumption. We are proud to partner with Pilot Light to provide that experience through SnackTime Explorers, and we could not be more excited to launch this innovative program for the first time in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).”
Increasing both produce consumption and awareness in public schools, FFVP is a USDA-funded, in-classroom program that provides a variety of fresh produce snacks to elementary school students outside of designated school meal times.
Through the SnackTime Explorers collaboration between Pilot Light and FRESHEALTH, educators will help students develop a healthy and positive relationship with food, a press release explained.
“The holistic approach of the Food Education Standards combined with the consistent, inquiry-based structure of the lessons is designed to support the needs of the whole child. Both food and learning are intrinsically relational, and we are excited to see what this program sparks for young people at this stage in their food identity development inside and outside of the classroom,” said Eileen Torpy, Pilot Light’s Director of School and District Partnerships.
The SnackTime Explorers pilot launched in mid-January in over 30 CPS elementary classrooms and will run for seven weeks. As part of the kit, teachers are provided a set of bite-sized, prewritten lessons designed to integrate Pilot Light’s Food Education Standards into classrooms.
To read more about the SnackTime Explorers program, click here.
SnackTime Explorers is now being implemented in 23 FFVP-participating elementary schools throughout the district. Educators in and outside of Chicago Public Schools can register their interest in SnackTime Explorers for the next school year here.
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