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Natalie Portman Congratulates PCRM’s 2011 Golden Carrot Award Winners

Oscar-winning actress and new mom Natalie Portman recently congratulated the Los Angeles Unified School District for winning PCRM’s Golden Carrot Award for innovation in school food service. Runner-up prizes went to food service professionals in Denver and Greenville, S.C.

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) food services director Dennis Barrett and food services deputy director David Binkle received the grand prize for the creative food service program they direct. LAUSD offers a new menu this year, full of nutritious, plant-based menu options. The district also created “I’M IN,” a social awareness campaign that links its new menu items to student health and school performance. Learn more >

“As a new parent, I love your district’s emphasis on healthy meal options and nutrition education. By serving healthy menu items like fresh salads, avocado wraps, and black bean burgers, you’re helping students develop a taste for nutritious foods,” wrote Portman in a letter to John E. Deasy, Ph.D., superintendent of LAUSD. “But you’re also making sure students understand how food affects their bodies so they’re more likely to bypass the cheeseburgers and put healthful items on their trays.”

This year’s Golden Carrot runners-up are:

  • Gianna Cassetta, founder of SOAR, a Denver charter school that offers a diverse range of delicious vegetarian menu options. Learn more >
  • Ron Jones and Jennifer Sharp, R.D., food service professionals with Greenville County Schools in Greenville, S.C., who redesigned lunch menus at 11 elementary schools this year and revolutionized culinary training for 80 food service operators. Learn more >

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 offer vegetarian, low-fat, whole grain, and nondairy options.

To nominate a food service professional for a 2012 Golden Carrot Award, visit

Natalie Portman congratulates PCRM's 2011 Golden Carrot Award Winners

PCRM Online,
November 2011

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