Vegan Fridays for NY City schools

Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York

All New York City schools are debuting Vegan Fridays. Following the adoption of Meatless Mondays by all 1,700 public schools in NYC in 2019, they are now adding an additional day each week when all meals offered will be vegan, with such options as bagels and jelly, veggie tacos, Mediterranean pasta, black bean and plantain rice bowls and more.  The meals will phased in, with non-vegan options available for children upon request, and will be available free to the 930,000 children who attend NYC public schools.  Due to federal guidelines, dairy milk will also continue to be available.

The shift to serving meatless meals to kids on Mondays was put in place by then-mayor Bill de Blasio and then Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams—who was elected as NYC’s first vegan mayor and took office in January. (Since then, he has admitted to eating fish occasionally). After helping to push through Meatless Mondays at NYC schools, Adams helped get Meatless Fridays on the menu in 2021. 

When it comes to school lunches, Adams has been on a mission to make them healthier and free from harmful foods such as processed meats. To that end, Adams spearheaded Resolution 238, which called upon the Department of Education to remove processed meat such as bologna, pepperoni, and hot dogs from public school menus citywide. The NYC Council adopted that resolution in October 2019. 

Now, Adams is throwing his full weight behind the Vegan Fridays initiative, which he sees as a big step forward for the youngest of his constituents. “Plant-based options in schools means healthy eating and healthy living, and improving the quality of life for thousands of New York City students,” Adams said in a statement.