Vegan Fridays at NYC Public Schools

How does a Vegan Veggie Taco sound for lunch? On Friday, students at the largest school district in the United States will have vegan options for foods.

The New York City Public Schools breakfast menu, lunch menu, and after-school menu will feature vegan foods on Fridays moving forward.

The lunch menu for students from pre-K through high school for Friday, Feb. 4, 2022 features vegan veggie tacos served with a crispy or soft vegetable tortilla and a vegan salsa cup.  Seasoned broccoli and a carrot and lemon salad are also vegan options.

The breakfast menu features vagal bagels and jelly, hot oatmeal, and seasonal fresh fruit.

After school hot meals will consist of black bean and plantain rice bowls and green garden salads.

Mayor Eric Adams, who is a vegan, touted the program on FOX 5’s "Good Day New York" on Thursday and claims that students were asking for it.

"I love healthy food, and I love life, and our children should not continually be fed food that’s causing their healthcare crises: childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, asthma.  There’s a real correlation to what we serve in the Department of Education every day, and what is being served in our hospitals, our jails," Adams said.  "We should not be feeding the crises and we're going to allow the children to have the option of tasting some good tasting, healthy food."

"You know what.  They asked for this," the mayor went on to say.  "They are tired of the food that they are being fed in their schools and they want healthy options."

The school district says that non-vegan menu items will be available "upon request."

In 2019 city public schools were banned from serving processed meats.  Among the items taken off of the menu were salami and cheese sandwiches, bologna and cheese sandwiches, cheese and turkey ham sandwiches, and pre-sliced Canadian turkey bacon and turkey ham.

Hot dogs also came off of the menu.


The city already had a "Meatless Mondays" program in place at all public schools.  It was announced in March of 2019 that the test program was being expanded citywide.

"Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers' health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," then-Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We're expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come."

The city has long thought about banning chocolate milk from school menus.  Mayor Eric Adams reportedly says he would consider that.

The NYC Department of Education has a long list of other prohibited ingredients in school lunches.  They include artificial colors, artificial flavors, and high fructose corn syrup.

There are more than 1 million students in NYC public schools.  All meals are served for free to any student with no income requirements.