New York City Public Schools Go Vegan on Fridays

Milk still on the menu due to USDA guidelines

New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) / YouTube
February 4, 2022

First, they canceled chicken nuggets. Now, they've nixed mozzarella sticks.

New York City public schools are going vegan on Fridays under a new policy from Mayor Eric Adams (D.). School cafeterias will serve only vegan food with the exception of milk, a result of USDA guidelines. Menu offerings in February include black bean and plantain rice bowls, Mediterranean chickpeas, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The policy strengthens the move to "meatless" Monday and Friday school lunches instituted by former mayor Bill de Blasio (D.).

"Plant-based meals are delicious and nutritious, which is why I previously called for vegetarian and vegan options in schools," Adams said. "I'm thrilled to see that all students will now have access to healthy foods that will prevent debilitating health conditions."

The New York Daily News reported only that two of the five principals with whom they spoke were aware of the change in lunch policy. One acknowledged that getting kids to eat the vegan meals could prove "quite challenging." No parents or students were aware of the new, vegan-only offerings.

Adams's vegan crusade began when he was Brooklyn borough president. He has credited his vegan diet with reversing a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. In 2020, he published Healthy at Last, an account of his switch to a strict plant-based diet.