Climate Action

Earth Day Network Launches “Healthy and Sustainable School Food” Journalism Awards

October 18, 2012

Earth Day Network Launches “Healthy and Sustainable School Food” Journalism Awards

Michael Pollan to Judge Finalists

WASHINGTON – Earth Day Network has joined forces with author and food activist Michael Pollan, the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project to launch the first annual Healthy and Sustainable School Food Journalism Awards. Aimed at high school students ages 13 to 18, the competition seeks to bring the hard facts about school food to entire school communities and mobilize a healthy school movement across the nation. The contest launches on the occasion of National School Lunch Week, which runs from Oct. 15 – 19 this year. “High school journalism classes and school newspapers are the incubators for tomorrow’s great journalists. And most importantly, young people listen to what their peers are saying,” said Michael Pollan, the contest’s judge and the author of four New York Times best-sellers. “This contest is designed to help those young thought leaders hone their investigative journalism skills and get their peers engaged on a critical issue affecting their own well-being and that of the environment.” Published articles submitted for the competition will be required to focus on the benefits of healthy and sustainable school food and the policies and best practices that advance the goal of healthy and sustainable school food. “Students have always been an incredibly powerful voice for change,” said Alice Waters, founder of The Edible Schoolyard Project. “Engaging them in the conversation about the state of school lunch is a critical step to transforming the school food system.” The author of the winning article will receive $1,500. Second prize will be $1,000. Third prize will be $500, and three fourth prize winners will each receive $300. Faculty supervising the winners will receive a prize of $200. The Epstein/Roth Foundation is providing funding and overall support for the competition. “Despite increased public focus on obesity and health, children’s health and nutrition in the United States is in a state of crisis that affects our nation’s educational success, job readiness, global competitiveness, the surging cost of healthcare, and environmental sustainability,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “So, getting young people informed and vocal about food issues is critical. That’s the goal of this competition.” Submissions must be received by February 28, 2013. Finalists will be selected by March 31, 2013. Winners will be announced on or around Earth Day, April 22, 2013. To learn more about the Healthy and Sustainable School Food Journalism Awards, go


Earth Day Network mobilizes over one billion people in 192 countries through year-round advocacy, education, public policy and consumer campaigns to protect the environment.