NYC public schools to go vegetarian on Mondays beginning 2019-2020

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Organic vegetables are shown at a Whole Foods Market in LaJolla, California in this May 13, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files

NEW YORK — For the growing population of vegetarians, the announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio about public schools being mandated to have Meatless Mondays, will be a welcome one.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced March 11, that all New York City public schools will have “Meatless Mondays” beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The program, which was first piloted in 15 schools in Brooklyn in Spring 2018, will provide students with “healthy, all-vegetarian” breakfast and lunch menus every Monday, a press release from the Mayor’s office said.

“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,”  Mayor Bill de Blasio is quoted saying in the press release. He made the announcement accompanied by Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “We’re expanding Meatlessn Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”

Schools Chancellor Carranza added, “Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives. Our students and educators are truly leaders in this movement, and I salute them!”

Brooklyn Borough President Adams recalled the 2017 announcement when 15 schools in his borough adopted Meatless Mondays, said, “I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza, as well as our incredible parent and student advocates who have made this a reality.  I could not be more energized by our progress and more ready to take on the work ahead.”

Several other top city officials and elected representatives expressed their support for the program.

This fall, the Brooklyn pilot was brought to schools across the City to evaluate student feedback on a broader scale. As a result of the feedback, the NYC Department of Education decided to officially bring Meatless Mondays citywide for 2019-20. The expansion will be cost-neutral, and the DOE’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services will meet with students to get qualitative feedback before the menu for next fall is finalized, the press release said.

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