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September 29, 2009

Baltimore City Public Schools Honored for Healthy Menu

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) today recognized the Baltimore City Public Schools with the Center’s 2009 Award for Visionary Leadership in Local Food Procurement and Food Education. The CLF award recognizes individuals and groups for “outstanding contributions to advancing our understanding of the complex interactions between humans and the environment.”

The award was presented to Neil E. Duke, Chair of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and Anthony Geraci, Baltimore City Public School’s Food and Nutrition Director by Robert Lawrence, MD, director of the Center for a Livable Future, and Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where CLF is located. The presentation was made in a ceremony at the school system’s Great Kids Farm, a 33-acre organic farm and education center located in Catonsville, MD.

“We are pleased to recognize the outstanding efforts by the Baltimore City Public Schools in reintroducing healthy food choices to school cafeterias throughout the city. We hope Baltimore will become a national model for each school system in the nation to follow,” said Lawrence.

“Good nutrition is essential for good health. I commend the Baltimore City School system for improving access to healthy foods for its students and for its commitment to sustainable food options,” said Klag.

Baltimore City Public Schools’ efforts to improve healthy food choices include providing locally grown or distributed foods in its lunch rooms whenever possible, and working with local farms to provide more fresh produce. In addition, the Baltimore school system recently adopted a “Meatless Monday” menu that provides meat-free foods one day per week. The school system also established the Great Kids Farm teaching facility and is committed to developing gardens at each of the systems’ 201 schools, which serve more than 82,500 students and their families.

Previous recipients of the CLF Award, include Dennis R. Keeney, PhD, Emeritus Director of the Aldo Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Public Affairs media contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhshp.edu.