Lompoc Unified School District in California Adopts Meatless Monday

September 7th, 2015


Lompoc Unified School District in California Adopts Meatless MondayAcross the country more and more schools are giving students a nutritious start each week on Meatless Monday. To help schools create meatless menus, Meatless Monday recently released a free downloadable cookbook for school cafeterias: Meatless Monday Goes to School. Over 120 schools in the US are officially part of the Meatless Monday movement, and starting this fall, one more school district will be planning a menu that cuts out meat once a week.

Lompoc Unified School District (LUSD) in California is making Meatless Monday a feature in their cafeterias for high school, middle school, and elementary school students. In addition to the 12-campus LUSD, the school districts of Ojai, Oak Park and Rio in California will also participate in Meatless Monday with menus that highlight nutritious plant-based foods at the start of each week.

Kathy Bertelsen, LUSD’s child nutrition services manager, had been considering Meatless Monday as an option for the district, but was surprised by the enthusiasm students have shown for meatless cafeteria options. Bertelsen was invited to a meeting of the student government Lompoc Valley Middle School and heard students raising the lack of vegetarian options in the cafeteria as a serious issue for the school. “I was surprised that they would want vegetarian (foods) because I didn’t know it was all that popular,” Bertelsen said, “I thought the health nuts would be interested, and we don’t have a lot of those.” The meatless meals will be optional for students at the middles school and high school levels, while the elementary school cafeterias will be fully meatless on Mondays.

Parents across the country are passionate about getting healthy foods into school cafeterias, as a nutritious diet is essential for all students. The LUSD Meatless Monday program will run through spring of 2016. To learn more about it, click here.