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Sep 302009

From Green Right Now Reports

The Baltimore City Public Schools system has announced it will participate in the Meatless Monday campaign — the first school system in the U.S. to do so. Under the program, the school district’s 80,000 students will begin each week with a Meatless Monday menu.

The Meatless Monday campaign aims to get Americans to cut out steaks and pork chops on one day a week as a way of trimming the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the livestock industry and as a way of supporting locally grown foods.

The school system’s actions yesterday earned it the 2009 Award for Visionary Leadership in Local Food Procurement and Food Education from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Dr. Robert Lawrence, director of the CLF, and Dr. Michael Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, presented the award to Neil Duke, chairman of Baltimore City Board of Schools, and Tony Geraci, director of Baltimore City Schools Department of Food and Nutrition.

Geraci said the school system hopes the Meatless Monday program will inspire people to understand there are other options than just “meat and potatoes” for every meal. He hopes Baltimore can lead the country in reconnecting the next generation with food cultivation and preparation.

The school system has introduced a wide variety of projects to ensure its students eat and learn about healthy, environmentally friendly choices. School system staff have been working with local farmers to provide fresh produce, and with its distributors to find local suppliers. the City Schools also introduced a teaching farm, Great Kids Farm, and is developing the resources to establish a garden at each of its more than 200 schools.

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