2009 Golden Carrot Award Winners
Public School System
Gwinnett County Public Schools
Gwinnett County, Ga.
Ken Yant, director of school nutrition, and Karen Crawford, M.S., R.D., C.S.P., nutrition education coordinator
Gwinnett County Public Schools offer a healthy vegetarian option daily, including hummus and baked pita chips, black bean empanadas, veggie burgers, veggie corn dogs, teriyaki veggie burgers, and black bean burgers. Taste tests and nutrition education introduce students in Gwinnett County to a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, and the district serves a daily mix of fresh fruit, salads, and side vegetables. The school’s healthy approach includes baking and steaming instead of frying, offering only whole grain bread, and serving French fries without trans fat.
Jewish Community High School
San Francisco, Calif.
Stuart Jacobs, director of food services
Jewish Community High School of the Bay offers an organic vegetarian and vegan buffet line that includes veggie chili, Chinese-grilled tofu with broccoli, veggie hot dogs, and veggie turkey sandwiches. In addition to only offering kosher meals, the school offers a daily mix of fresh organic fruit and salads. The school’s healthy approach includes replacing high-fat, high-sugar snacks in vending machines with healthy snacks including soymilk. Soymilk is also offered to students in the lunch line at no additional cost.
The Colorado Springs School
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Alison Thompson, Chef.
The Colorado Springs School’s unique K-12 school lunch program includes a farm-fresh fruit and salad bar, purchased locally and prepared daily. Younger students are taught to make their plates as colorful as possible, creating a fun and healthy atmosphere. Older students looking for variety can find vegetarian stuffed peppers, Mediterranean veggie wraps, and curried tempeh in the lunch line. To complement the program, Ms. Thompson holds annual school nutrition seminars and hosts a parent-based “healthy-lunch” committee.
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County, Md.
Kathleen Lazor, M.A., R.D., food and nutrition services director
Montgomery County Public Schools offer vegetarian and vegan options on a daily basis. Vegetarian options, including vegetarian chik ‘n nuggets, veggie burgers, and soy/peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, are regularly available. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are available on a regular basis; cafeterias also offer soymilk and fruit juice. New vegetarian options are promoted through a monthly menu sent home with all elementary students. This past year, all schools participated in “Farm to School Week,” which featured locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu.
San Diego Unified School District
San Diego, Calif.
Gary Petill, nutrition services director
San Diego Unified School District offers vegetarian choices every day. Vegetarian main courses include veggie burgers, hummus and pita, and pasta with marinara sauce. Every elementary school has a salad bar, which includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This year, the number of middle and high schools with salad bars has doubled; the district aims to have salad bars in every school by next year. Vegetarian options are promoted through a monthly newsletter sent home to families, featuring a “Harvest of the Month” column. The district’s innovative “Breakfast in the Classroom” and after-school snack programs also offer a variety of low-fat, vegetarian options.
The Woolman Semester
Nevada City, CA
Benjamin Rose, chef
The Woolman Semester offers vegan options at every meal, actively promoting a fresh salad bar and offering entrees such as roasted vegetables paired with quinoa. International samplings have included dhal-bhaat and tarkari lentils with curried vegetables (Nepal) and locro squash stew (Bolivia). To complement the vegetarian cuisine, students are able to enroll in an Environmental Science and Peace Studies class and will often elect to do community work in the school’s organic garden.