Plant-Based Eating Is Now Even a Bigger Part of NYC School Lunches

Graphic Credit: News 12 New York/NYC Dept. of Education

In the Big Apple, school lunch is getting a makeover. The New York City public school system has taken the next step in ensuring the health of its student body by launching Vegan Fridays.

Following the success of Meatless Monday and Meatless Fridays, Mayor Eric Adams — a vocal advocate of plant-based eating and a long-time supporter Meatless Monday — announced the new initiative that he promises will improve the lives of thousands of New York City students.

“In one voice, we talk about fighting childhood obesity, diabetes. Yet you go into a school building every day and you see the food that feeds our health care crisis,” Adams said. “I am going to do the best I can to give them the options of a more healthier diet.”

Vegan Fridays is set to kick of February 4, 2022, and will include a robust offering of plant-forward foods and dishes. According to the DOE, the nutritious menu was sampled and approved by students. But these aren’t you average vegan offerings. This month, students will be able to choose from a selection of flavorful and thoughtful meals, such as Mediterranean chickpeas over rice or pasta, black beans and plantain rice bowls, and veggie tacos with salsa. Per USDA federal guidelines, dairy milk will still be available to students daily, even on Fridays.

Introducing students of all ages to healthy, plant-based foods through Meatless Monday is an easy and effective way to help kids develop healthy eating habits, reduce risk of chronic diseases, and help the environment.

Want to see a Meatless Monday program in your local school system? Click here to find the resources necessary to get the ball rolling.