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September 3, 2012

New School Year Means Healthy, More Humane Eating Habits

  • Thanks to reforms in the National School Lunch Program, healthy fare is on the menu for school kids. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

This fall, students nationwide will see vast improvements on their school lunch menus as a result of the recent changes to the National School Lunch Program guidelines.

Schools everywhere are adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to their menus, and many are going above-and-beyond by participating in Meatless Monday.

Here are just a few schools that will be taking part this fall:

  • Ann Arbor Public Schools in Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Broward County Public Schools in Broward County, Fla.
  • Detroit Public Schools in Detroit, Mich.
  • Icahn Charter Schools in New York, N.Y.
  • Gonzales Unified School District in Gonzales, Calif.
  • Long Beach Unified School District in Long Beach, Calif.
  • Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, Calif.

Why Meatless Monday?

Schools are in a unique and powerful position to influence students' eating habits for a lifetime to come. These pioneering schools recognize that responsibility, and the many benefits Meatless Monday offers for our health, for our planet, and for animals.

"Meat-free meals can be filling, delicious, and nutritious."

"At Gonzales Unified School District Food Services, we recognize we're creating eating habits that will last a lifetime," said Antonio Arellano, Food Service Supervisor. "We're participating in Meatless Monday to encourage healthier food choices and introduce students to a whole new way of thinking about meal choices. Meat-free meals can be filling, delicious, and nutritious."

Health

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health notes that meat-heavy diets are associated with obesity and other diseases, due to meat's high cholesterol and saturated fat content.

Animals

If we all opted for delicious meat-free meals just one day a week, it would mean 1.4 billion fewer animals would suffer the horrors of factory farming every single year. 

Environment

Environmental Defense Fund found that "if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains … the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads."

You can do it!

Contact us at meatlessmonday@humanesociety.org to learn how to get your local school on board.

For more information, including recipes to support Meatless Monday at home, visit humanesociety.org/meatfree.

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