New York City public school students were served chicken tenders laced with bones, plastic, and metal. One person even choked and “needed to be rescued.” Now a top government official and the owners of the Texas-based meat company that supplied the schools are standing trial for alleged bribery.
Brooklyn federal prosecutor Andrew Grubin claims that the owners of meat supplier Somma Foods bribed a top Department of Education (DOE) official with seed money to start his own meat supply business.
The DOE briefly stopped sourcing meat from Somma Foods after students and staff “complained about the food because they found bones and plastic in the chicken tenders” and one person choked. But Somma Foods owners allegedly upped the ante by offering the DOE official total ownership of their side company and $66,000. Grubin told jurors that the official allowed Somma chicken back in New York City schools the very next day.
While this story is horrible, it gets worse—the tainted meat fed to children in New York City public schools was likely paid for with taxpayer money. Children deserve better, and taxpayer money should go toward healthy, vibrant, bone-free meals in schools. That’s why Mercy For Animals is working with lawmakers to require state and local governments to reduce the meat, dairy, and egg products they purchase and increase the amount of plant-based food.
While each government is different and policies vary by city, county, and state, the effect is the same. Government purchasing directly impacts farmed animals, the environment, and the health and well-being of communities.
You have a powerful voice, and you can help increase plant-based options in your community! To learn more about how you can help, sign up through our Action Center.