All 1,200 schools in the New York City public school district will offer at least one vegan entrée at the beginning of this school year. Students will now be able to choose hummus for lunch, with several schools adding more creative vegan options such as Mexicali Chili, Lentil Stew, Lentil Sloppy Joes, Braised Black Beans with Plantains, and Zesty BBQ Crunchy Tofu. The Coalition for Healthy School Food (CHSF) is behind the new initiative and, to date, has worked with the city’s department of education to help three NYC schools—Active Learning Elementary School in Queens (PS244), Peck Slip School in Manhattan (PS343), and The Bergen Elementary School (PS1) in Brooklyn—to transition to an all-vegetarian menu. PS1 Principal Arlene Ramos revealed that students asked for healthier, meatless options and that she is proud to be able to introduce the new menu. Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams—who adopted a vegan diet last October to conquer his type 2 diabetes—supports the menu update. “It is particularly exciting to learn that this is a youth-driven initiative,” Adams said. “Our children understand that a healthy meal is the best fuel for a quality education, and I am pleased to work with CHSF as we advance a wholesome whole-food vision for our youngest Brooklynites and their families.” Earlier this year, seven schools within the Los Angeles School District launched a vegan lunch pilot program to which students have, thus far, responded with glowing reviews.
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