The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is seeking nominations for its fifth annual Golden Carrot Awards for outstanding school foodservice professionals. Awards include a grand prize of $5,000, with $1,500 going to the food service professional and $3,500 given to the school food service program. Up to four additional $1,000 prizes, with $500 going to the food service professional and $500 to the school food service program, will be awarded.

"In these tough economic times, many schools are struggling to provide students with a healthful variety of foods," PCRM nutritionist Kathryn Strong, R.D., said in a press release. "The Golden Carrot Awards recognize food service workers who overcome those challenges to serve delicious and healthful vegetarian and vegan foods."

The Golden Carrot Awards honor food service professionals in both public and private schools. Schools are evaluated on how well they provide students with a daily variety of vegan and vegetarian entrées, à la carte items, and vending machine items. Offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables, nondairy beverages, low-fat and cholesterol-free foods along with the availability, use and effectiveness of nutrition education and other innovative programs will also be reviewed.

The deadline for nominations is April 8. A PDF entry form and a more detailed explanation of the award criteria are available at