Berkeley Unified School District has received a Golden Carrot—a top national award for food service—from the Washington, D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).
The awards go to food service facilities that offer innovative programs that help improve child health and reduce obesity. Berkeley’s Grand Prize comes with $1,000 in cash for BUSD Nutrition Services Director Karen Candito, as well as a $2,500 donation to the BUSD food program.
Berkeley was one of four districts to win out of 60 nominated. The three others were in East Hampton, New York, Fairfax, Virginia, and Los Angeles.
This is the first year of the award, which will be given annually.
“Berkeley Unified really impressed us,” said PCRM director of nutrition, Amy Joy Lanou. “Karen Candito and her staff have done an extraordinary job of providing Berkeley’s students with healthy, diverse menus and teaching kids about the importance of good nutrition.”
Among other things, Lanou cited BUSD’s vegetarian lunch, organic gardens, farm-to-school programs, and a policy banning fried foods, sugary desserts, and sodas as factors in the district’s receipt of the award.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially through good nutrition.