NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 30, 2013 (New York Daily News): Public School 244 in Flushing is the first public school in the nation to serve all-vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch, according to city education officials. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says the all-vegetarian food system should be replicated at schools across the city and nation.
Chefs at the Active Learning Elementary School have swapped chicken, turkey and ham for black beans, tofu and falafel, and kids are digging in with delight. On the menu is black bean and cheddar quesadillas with salsa and roasted potatoes. The kids are digging into the vegetarian fare with gusto. "This is so good!" squealed 9-year-old Marian Satti. The students are pioneers in a citywide effort to make healthy food a staple of every child's day.
A-rated PS 244 partnered with nonprofit New York Coalition for Healthy School Food to design recipes for appetizing plant-based grub. "We believe that, if we taught kids to make healthy choices, it would help them to grow as students and well-rounded children," said Principal Robert Groff, who helped found the school in 2008.
City public schools have undergone a "revolution" in cafeteria fare since Mayor Bloomberg took office, according to Eric Goldstein, chief executive of the Office of School Support Services for the city Education Department. The ongoing evolution of cafeteria grub has led schools to serve only whole-grain breads and pastas. Salad bars have been installed in 1,000 schools, and they'll be a fixture at all 1,800 facilities by the end of the next academic year.
HPI Note: They don't mention it in the article, but serving vegetarian food also solves issues about halal or kosher diets, as vegetarian food is acceptable in both systems.