Next spring, 15 Brooklyn schools will put their own veggie-inspired spin on Mondays.
Thanks to New York’s new Meatless Mondays program, participating schools will provide their students with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday during the second half of the 2017–18 school year. The program will be provided at no additional cost to the City.
The Meatless Mondays initiative seeks to address two major concerns:
- Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins and nutrients; they also reduce the risk of numerous life-altering diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
- Unfortunately, less than 20% of the City’s children, aged 6–12, ate five or more fruits and vegetables a day.
- Meat production has a major impact on the environment; for example, approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef while a pound of veggies only requires 39 gallons.
- With over 850,000 meals served by City schools every school day, reducing the amount of meat served in City schools by just one day a week can significantly reduce the City’s overall carbon footprint.
Some of the menu options available during Meatless Mondays include spinach wraps, vegetarian chili, roasted chickpea tagine, black bean quesadillas, crispy tofu, zucchini parmigiana, and margherita pizza.
“Teaching students about nutrition and exposing them to healthy food options from an early age is critical,” said Chancellor Carmen Fariña following the program’s announcement. “Like our Garden to Café program and the New York Thursday initiative, Meatless Mondays is one more way in which we are using school meals as a teachable moment to educate students on the importance of making healthy choices.”
To select the schools that will participate in the Meatless Mondays program, the DOE’s Office of SchoolFood will work with school communities across Brooklyn to finalize the list of 15 schools.
For more information about the Meatless Mondays initiative, check out the City’s official press release.