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New York City Public Schools Will Go Meatless on Mondays

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio joins Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and school children for lunch at P.S. 130, a Brooklyn public school, for an announcement about Meatless Mondays on March 11th, 2019, in New York City.

Starting next school year, New York City’s public school cafeterias will not serve meat on Mondays. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced (appropriately, on Monday) that the district’s 1.1 million students must eat vegetarian or vegan for one day a week, as part of a national campaign aimed at improving public health and reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint.

“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”

The district tested the program in 15 Brooklyn schools and found it would not cost anything. More than that, officials say, the students liked it. This isn’t too surprising: Vegan and vegetarian diets are more common among young people than most other age groups in the United States. In adapting to their needs, the Meatless Monday campaign has done what federal nutrition policy has not: The National School Lunch Program serves 30.4 million students across the U.S., and yet the government nutritionists whose work sets the menu do not suggest cutting out red meat entirely—even for a day.

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