Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was announced as the winner of the 2011 “Golden Carrot Awards” by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) for innovation in school food service. The school will receive $3,000 from PCRM to benefit the food service program.
LAUSD won the grand prize for their creative food program which offered a menu full of nutritious, plant-based options and for running a social awareness campaign called “I’M IN” which links heathly eating to graduation.
Natalie Portman was very impressed with the school districts offerings and innovations. To show her support for the school she wrote a letter to LAUSD’s superintendent Dr. John Deasy commending the school for its healthy lunches.
In her letter to Dr. Deasy, Portman wrote, “As a new parent, I love your district’s emphasis on healthy meal options and nutritious 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. 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.”
Portman also stated in the letter that she was worried about her son’s generation because childhood obesity has hit a record high and diabetes has become a real threat to children. She is hopeful that schools like LAUSD who participate in healthy school lunch programs can help reverse these “terrible trends.”
PCRM’s “Golden Carrot Awards” are given to food service professionals who do an exceptional job of improving the healthfulness of school lunches. Programs which encourage kids to eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies, vegetarian options, low-fat non-dairy and whole grain options are considered for the award.
Los Angeles Unified School District took the Grand Prize in the 2011 “Golden Carrot Awards” while two runner-up prizes were given to food service professionals in Denver and Greenville, S.C. SOAR, a Denver charter school, will receive $1,000 from the group for offering a diverse range of vegetarian options and a fresh salad bar. Ron Jones and Jennifer Sharp, R.D., will also receive $1,000 from PCRM for their innovative redesigning of lunch menus at 11 elementary schools in the Greenville County School District.