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The Physicians Committee

2011 Golden Carrot Award Winners

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has named the following winner and runners-up in the 2011 Golden Carrot Awards.

The award coincides with this year’s National School Lunch Week, which runs from Oct. 10 to 14. A cash prize to benefit the food service programs accompanies the award for the winner and runners-up. The winner receives $3,000 and the runners-up receive $1,000.

PCRM established the Golden Carrot Awards in 2004 to recognize food service professionals doing an exceptional job of improving the healthfulness of school lunches. PCRM looks for programs that encourage kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and that offers plenty of vegetarian, low-fat, whole grain, and nondairy options.


Dennis Barrett, Food Services Director David Binkle, Deputy Food Services Director

Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles
Dennis Barrett, Food Services Director
David Binkle, Deputy Food Services Director

Since 2002 Los Angeles Unified School District has made major nutritional policy changes, making LAUSD a recognized national leader in the effort to promote healthy food and lifestyles to combat diabetes, obesity, and other health issues. LAUSD continually revamps its menu to offer a variety of student-approved, plant-based entrées, including vegetable tamales, fresh salads, vegetable bean burgers, and avocado wraps. The district created “I’M IN”, a social awareness campaign, to link its new menu items to student health and school performance. LAUSD’s cafeterias offer soymilk and a menu completely free of trans fats, flavored milk, and carbonated beverages. This year, LAUSD superintendent John Deasy has made the commitment to reduce added sugars in school meals.


Jennifer Sharp, R.D., Food and Nutrition Coordinator Ron Jones, Culinary Expert Eileen Staples, DirectorGreenville County Public Schools
Greenville County, S.C.
Jennifer Sharp, R.D., Food and Nutrition Coordinator
Ron Jones, Culinary Expert
Eileen Staples, Director

Veggie burgers, baked penne, and vegetation stations are popular features in Greenville County lunch lines this year. School chefs offer fresh, low-fat, vegetarian meal options each day, and use positive language to promote the new items. A 40-hour course at the Culinary Institute at Carolina helped revolutionize the menu, and provided 80 food service professionals with instruction and support.

Gianna Cassetta, SOAR FounderSOAR Schools
Gianna Cassetta, SOAR Founder

SOAR's dining rules are simple: No meat, dessert, artificial colors or preservatives, sweetened beverages, and only minimally processed foods. School menu items include veggie burgers, garden wraps, fresh salads, and vegetarian BBQ riblets. Fruits and vegetables are offered as healthy snacks throughout the day. Parents are active in organizing fundraisers, cooking classes for families, and nutrition seminars. SOAR plans to add student gardens, nutrition education for staff, and school lunch recipes developed by Candle 79, an organic, vegan New York City restaurant, and New York Coalition for Healthy School Food.


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