Thanks to the hard work of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a nonprofit that helps introduce plant-based foods to schools, Bergen Elementary School in Sunset Park is Brooklyn’s first 100 percent vegetarian school. With more than 1,250 kids, Bergen Elementary School is the third public school in New York City to adopt an entirely vegetarian menu.
The switch was driven entirely by students, according to the school’s principal, Arlene Ramos. “My students have expressed an interest in healthier eating, and the school gave them the option to choose this menu. I am very proud of their decision.”
Just last week, the Coalition for Healthy School Food announced that all 1,800 public schools in the New York City district would offer at least one vegan option. According to CHSF, the New York City Office of School Food is the only public school district in the country to offer vegetarian menus as an option, and they also offer a vegan option on the menu of all of the city's public schools each day.
Currently over 50 school districts nationwide observe Meatless Monday, and vegan options at schools have been on the rise for years. Earlier this year, Los Angeles Unified School District rolled out a vegan pilot program to offer more plant-based lunch options to students at no additional cost.
Offering vegan meals at schools will not only teach students how to eat a nutritious diet but also spare countless animals a life of misery at factory farms. These shifts toward plant-based school lunches are shaping the way future generations will eat.
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