Second Public School in the U.S. Goes Vegetarian
Following the footsteps of a public elementary school in Flushing, Queens, another public school in New York City has decided to go vegetarian.
The Peck Slip School in lower Manhattan announced Monday that it will only be serving students plant-based meals due to its benefits not only for the kids but the planet as well, becoming the second non-charter public school in the U.S. to do so.
“We decided to implement the vegetarian menu because of the health benefits of a diet including more legumes, vegetables, and whole grains and our concerns about the environmental impact of meat production,” explained Maggie Siena, school principal. “As it turns out the vegetarian dishes are pretty delicious, too – we are seeing more kids trying and liking chickpeas, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta. Kale salad was a huge hit.”
The implementation of the vegetarian menu was done with the help of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a non profit dedicated to getting whole foods into schools across the New York City area.
“More schools are asking for vegetarian menus, in order to increase their students’ intake of whole plant foods, which they understand are associated with lower BMI, better health, less sick days, and increased concentration,” stated Amie Hamlin, the organization’s Executive Director.
After PS244 in Queens implemented a vegetarian menu in January 2013, it reported improved test scores and longer attention spans by its students within nine months.
“We’re thrilled that Principal Maggie Siena decided to offer a vegetarian menu,” Hamlin added. “She is very forward thinking, and understands that good nutrition is an important foundation for health and learning.”
Photo Credit: Shutterstock