NEW YORK — Public school cafeterias in New York City will start phasing in “vegan-focused” menus on Fridays as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ push to serve healthier food to students, officials said Thursday.
The city’s Department of Education, which introduced Meatless Mondays in 2019 and Meatless Fridays this past April, will add “Vegan Fridays” into the rotation, DOE associate press secretary Jenna Lyle confirmed.
What You Need To Know
- Public school cafeterias in New York City will start phasing in “vegan-focused” menus on Fridays
- The change is part of Mayor Eric Adams' push to serve healthier food in schools
- The Department of Education introduced Meatless Mondays in 2019 and Meatless Fridays this past April
- Students themselves have been taste-testing the vegan options, Adams said
In an appearance on Fox 5’s "Good Day New York" Thursday morning, Adams — who is vegan — said the menu change would improve students’ health.
“I love healthy food, and I love life, and our children should not continually be fed food that’s causing their healthcare crises: childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, asthma,” he said. “There’s a real correlation to what we serve in the Department of Education every day, and what is being served in our hospitals, our jails. We should not be feeding the crises.”
Students themselves have been taste-testing the vegan options, Adams said.
“Our children are weighing in — they’re doing food testing, they’re determining the type of food they want that’s healthy,” he said. “And you know what? They asked for this. They are tired of the food they are being fed in their schools, and they want healthy options.”
Non-vegan options, Lyle noted, “will be available on request,” and schools will still offer milk with every meal. Schools across the city had already been serving vegan items on a daily basis, the DOE said.
“The DOE is committed to the health and wellbeing of every child, and having a consistent, nourishing and filling meal each day is essential in ensuring students can succeed both inside and outside the classroom,” Lyle said in a statement. “Following on the success of Meatless Monday and Fridays, we are excited to be expanding access to healthy and nutritious food options for NYC students with the phasing in of a vegan focused menu on Fridays.”
At a press conference at City Hall on Monday, Adams said he was looking to change school menus and suggested it was time to stop serving chocolate milk, given its high sugar content.