Los Angeles Unified School District was awarded the grand prize in the 2011 Golden Carrot Award competition of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine vegetarian advocacy group for its efforts to serve healthy lunches to students. The runners-up were Greenville County (SC) Public Schools and SOAR Charter School in Denver.
Since 2002 LAUSD, the nation's second largest school district, had made major nutritional policy changes that made it a recognized national leader in the effort to promote healthy food and lifestyles in the child nutrition segment. It revamped its menu to include healthier selections, including meatless choices such as vegetable tamales, fresh salads, vegetable bean burgers and avocado wraps. The district also created “I’m In”, a social awareness campaign, to link its new menu items to student health and school performance.
The award, announced as part of National School Lunch Week activities, comes with a $3,000 prize that will go to benefit the district's food service program. The runners-up receive $1,000.