October 23, 2017

Brooklyn Schools Go Meatless on Mondays!

school children eating lunch

School lunches just got a little more adventurous for kids in Brooklyn, NY—and a lot more humane for animals! On Monday, October 23, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Brooklyn’s Borough President Eric Adams, and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of a Meatless Monday pilot program in Brooklyn schools. 

“The new Meatless Monday pilot program in Brooklyn schools is a great step forward for the City of New York in the movement to make our food system more humane,” says Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is excited to see the city joining school districts across the county that are inspiring the next generation to make food choices that are better for people, the planet and animals.”

Starting next spring, 15 participating Brooklyn schools will serve all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday. Bringing Meatless Monday into schools is a great way to educate students about where their food comes from and inspire them to make higher-welfare food choices. Including animal welfare as a core tenet of sustainability is a big part of creating a holistic, healthy and more humane food system. 

The Meatless Monday program aligns with the ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart campaign which, along with promoting higher-welfare farming, encourages people to eat more plant-based foods as a way to address the inhumane treatment of animals on factory farms. As large-scale purchasers of animal products, institutions like New York City Schools have a huge impact in farm animal welfare. By cutting out meat just one day each week, we can spare hundreds of millions of animals from suffering. 

We look forward to continuing to work with New York City to strengthen its commitment to a more humane food system through additional, complementary initiatives, including the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP). Most recently adopted by the City of Chicago, the GFPP helps cities, school systems and other institutions ensure that a portion of their food budgets goes to producers that meet standards reflective of five key value categories: animal welfare, nutrition, support for local economies, worker justice and safety, and environmental sustainability. 

Whether you already practice Meatless Monday or just want to explore how your food choices can help farm animals, learn more at aspca.org/ShopWithYourHeart.