Public schools in New York City are starting a meatless Monday program for student lunches. School officials hope the eco-friendly initiative will boost health among the student population and serve as an example for other districts to follow.

“People are going to look at this, and they’re going to start to emulate what the New York City schools are doing,” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio shared.

The new program will be implemented in 1,800 schools in the city and was originally tested in 15 schools in Brooklyn in 2018. The school chancellor, Richard A Carranza, says that students and parents reacted positively to the initiative, giving them the green light to move forward.

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Carranza also talked about the advantages of eating meat-free meals. This includes a lower risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Vegetarian diets, of course, are also good for the environment because they reduce water use and lessen our carbon output. In fact, the head of the city’s Office of Sustainability, Mark Chambers, argued that eating less meat is one of the best ways people can improve the environment.

New York City has the largest school district in the country, and Chambers believes introducing its large student population to the idea of meatless Monday could lead to significant diet changes.

This is not the first time New York City has started a program to improve eating habits. In 2017, public schools handed out free breakfast to all of its students throughout the school year. In the summer, NYC public schools continued the program and extended it to anyone who was 18 years old or younger.

In addition to meatless Monday, public schools in New York obtain produce from local farmers every Thursday. The school district is also recycling more than ever and has started a program that teaches students how to sort recyclable goods. Given all of the eco-friendly programs coming out of New York, like meatless Monday, we can only hope that other schools across the country will follow their lead.

Via Huffington Post

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