Starting today, the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) will serve meatless menus across its jails every Monday. The DOC joined the Meatless Monday movement in an effort to promote better health to people in its custody and to reduce its carbon footprint to participate in the global fight against climate change. All sectors of the DOC, including staff, will participate in Meatless Mondays and vegetarian options—such as chili, fruit, and veggie burgers—will be offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “Eliminating meat at least once a week reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke, and increasing your daily servings of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will protect against cardiovascular disease,” DOC Chief of Staff Brenda Cooke. “If the entire US did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles—or taking 7.6 million cars off the road. DOC cannot be more proud to take on this initiative to help improve the health and wellness of those in our custody.”

Vegan Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams has been working with various sectors in NYC to modernize their menus and programs, including the DOC and NYC public schools—all 1,700 of which adopted a Meatless Monday program in March. In 2018, Adams was instrumental in implementing The Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program at the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue medical system—a program that helps patients overcome illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease with plant-based nutrition instead of prescription medication. “This groundbreaking step and the steps our office is taking … continue to make New York a global leader in public health,” Adams said. “I want to thank the department for working with us to improve the lives of our incarcerated brothers, sisters and fellow New Yorkers.”

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