New York public schools will no longer serve meat dishes on Mondays, as part of an initiative to encourage a balanced and healthy lifestyle among students.
The city is expanding its ‘Meatless Mondays’ program to offer millions of students all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every week.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza made the announcement earlier this month:
“We want our kids to be as healthy as they could be and learn as well as they can – and meatless Mondays gives them more balance in their lives,” Mayor de Blasio said.
“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
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Over 1 million students will eat vegetarian once a week
Mr Carranza said the program will be available for free to students in all 1,800 of NYC’s public schools.
Educators are particularly excited about the positive impact this will have on student’s health, stating “it will reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer”.
“Meatless Mondays are good for our students, communities, and the environment,” Mr Carranza said in a statement.
“Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives.”
Success following the 2018 pilot program
The Meatless Monday program has been extended – following a pilot of just 15 schools in Brooklyn during 2018.
Andrea Strong, founder of the NYC Healthy School Food Alliance says greenhouse gas emissions will be significantly less thanks to Meatless Mondays.
“It is noteworthy to point out that if New York City public schools swapped out a beef burger for a plant-based protein once a month, the city would emit 375,000 pounds (over 17,000kg) less of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year,” she said.
“We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come,” Mayor de Blasio added.
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