Starting this Friday, all New York City public schools will debut Vegan Fridays. Under the new initiative, Fridays at NYC public schools will mean menus filled with plant-based options such as bagels and jelly; veggie tacos; Mediterranean pasta, black bean, and plantain rice bowls; and more.
These meals will be available for free to the 930,000 children who attend NYC public schools. The Vegan Fridays initiative follows an adoption of Meatless Mondays by all 1,700 public schools in NYC in 2019.
The shift to serving meatless meals to kids on Mondays was put in place by then-mayor Bill de Blasio and then Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who was elected as NYC’s first vegan mayor last year. After helping to push through Meatless Mondays at NYC schools, Adams helped get Meatless Fridays on the menu in 2021.
“Plant-based options in schools means healthy eating and healthy living, and improving the quality of life for thousands of New York City students,” said Adams, who keeps a vegan diet, said in a statement.
Recognizing that the abrupt disappearance of mozzarella sticks could jar some students, the DOE said it will offer some lighter dairy products on Fridays during a delicate transition period.
“Plant-based meals are delicious and nutritious, which is why I previously called for vegetarian and vegan options in schools,” Adams said. “I’m thrilled to see that all students will now have access to healthy foods that will prevent debilitating health conditions.”
Other vegan options will include seasoned broccoli salad, spinach and cranberry salad, and roasted cauliflower. Adams has credited a radical change in his diet with helping get rid of his diabetes.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NY.EATER.COM