Carroll County Public Schools was one of three school systems in Maryland to receive the 2017 United States Department of Agriculture Turnip the Beet Award. This awards program recognizes agencies participating in the Summer Meals Program who strive to serve nutritious and appealing meals to youth during the summer months. All three school systems were awarded at the silver level.
The USDA Free Summer Meals Program is administered in Maryland by the Maryland State Department of Education and is critical in the lives of youth whose risk for food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to school meals. Summer meals can assist in alleviating summertime food insecurity, and can positively impact children’s growth and development by offering nutritious meals and encouraging children and teens to develop healthy habits at a young age. High quality summer meals provide daily energy and help make sure children are healthy and ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.
The Turnip the Beet Award program was created to showcase agencies that are going above and beyond to ensure that children and teens are receiving high-quality meals that are both nutritious and appetizing. MSDE congratulates these school districts on their achievement and commitment to serving high quality summer meals.
Karen Sarno, Supervisor of Food Services for Carroll County Public Schools, and her staff were commended by the Maryland No Kid Hungry campaign for their work to serve 4,511 summer meals to children at six sites last summer and afterschool meals at two sites this school year.
In addition, Sarno led a roundtable during a workshop at the Maryland Summer and Afterschool Meals Convening hosted by the Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland No Kid Hungry. According to Kara Panowitz, Out of School Time Manager with the Maryland No Kid Hungry campaign, “Karen provides a prime example of thoughtful, nutritious menu planning, including local foods. She should be commended for her dedication and diligence.”