Across the U.S. and Canada, school districts and Universities are going meatless on Monday to improve student health and reduce their environmental impact. As the school year starts, we’d like to welcome the incoming class of schools who have joined the movement! Beginning this fall, six new colleges and four new k-12 school districts will be highlighting Meatless Monday options, bringing nutritious choices to tens of thousands of students.
Arlington County, Henrico County (both in Virginia), Oneida County (New York) and St. Vrain Valley School District (Colorado) each serve thousands of K-12 children in multiple schools. St. Vrain, for example, prepares about 17,000 meals daily. With Meatless Monday, students can now look forward to delicious, healthy dishes like black bean burgers on a whole wheat bun (Arlington) and personal broccoli pizzas (Oneida). These meals will help young students learn healthy habits that they can take into adulthood. As a nutritionist for St. Vrain’s Blue Mountain Elementary noted, “we want to offer not just a choice of what to eat, but a choice of a lifestyle.”
While K-12 school districts are setting the stages for a lifetime of health, colleges are teaching newly independent young adults how to select nutritious meals on their own. This year, six new colleges have welcomed Meatless Monday on campus. Vassar, Northwest Missouri State, University of Virginia, Eastern Kentucky U, CSU Monterey Bay and McGill University have joined the list of 30 colleges across the U.S. and Canada who highlight meatless options each week.
Many of the pushes to bring Meatless Monday to campus were student-lead, a testament to increased awareness about the connections between diet and overall health. Each college has added its own, unique promotion style to the campaign, including videos, Facebook pages and pledge drives. We’d like to congratulate these schools on their decision to serve up healthy, plant-based options and include nutrition education in their cafeterias!