NYC Expands Meatless Monday to All Schools — Reaching 1.1 Million Students Every Week

March 11th, 2019

On Monday, March 11, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced that Meatless Monday will be expanded to all New York City public schools beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. Meatless Monday is a global movement encouraging everyone to cut out meat one day a week, for personal and environmental health.

In spring 2018, 15 Brooklyn schools piloted Meatless Monday, which expanded to include additional City schools in the fall. As a result of the success of the broader pilot program, Meatless Monday will now cover all NYC schools and will provide 1.1 million students with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday.

See the press release here.

“The announcement that Mayor de Blasio has expanded Meatless Monday to all New York City public schools marks a major milestone. Through this united effort, New York City’s schools take a leadership role in getting our children on a healthier track, as well as making a positive impact on our environment.” Sid Lerner, Founder, Meatless Monday Movement

The Meatless Monday pilot expansion evaluated student feedback on a broad scale. Results of the test showed that participation in meals on Mondays remained stable and the DOE decided to officially bring Meatless Mondays citywide for 2019-20. The Meatless Monday program is cost-neutral and the DOE’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services will meet with students to get feedback on the menu before it’s finalized.

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



“Meatless Mondays are good for our students, communities, and the environment,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Our 1.1 million students are taking the next step towards healthier, more sustainable lives, and we should all follow suit. I’m looking forward to joining our schools in the Meatless Mondays movement next year!”

“I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza, as well as our incredible parent and student advocates who have made this a reality,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I could not be more energized by our progress and more ready to take on the work ahead.”

“Reducing our appetite for meat is one of the single biggest ways individuals can reduce their environmental impact on our planet,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Meatless Mondays will introduce hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers to the idea that small changes in their diet can create larger changes for their health and the health of our planet.”

The announcement was made at PS 130 The Parkside, one of 15 schools that participated in the pilot program in Brooklyn. On Mondays, the school serves a variety of all-vegetarian meals including vegetarian tacos, grilled cheese, and a salad bar.

Meatless Monday builds on the City’s efforts to provide free, healthy meals to all students. This initiative will also be part of New York City’s Free School Lunch for All, which launched in the 2017-18 school year and provides free healthy breakfast and lunch to all participating New York City schools. In the 2017-18 school year, more than 150 million breakfasts and lunches were served free of charge.

Join the Movement – Meatless Monday Offers Free Resources and Expertise to K-12 Schools

Schools looking to implement Meatless Monday programs can consult with our team, which includes experts from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Free resources include:

• Research on the health and environmental benefits of choosing plant-based foods instead of meat

• Implementation guides for starting Meatless Monday in school cafeterias

• Marketing materials that can be used to promote Meatless Monday on site or through digital and social media

• Downloadable cookbooks and weekly newsletters with Meatless Monday recipes

• Sign-up to become a Meatless Monday Ambassador

Questions? Contact us now for additional information or to learn how to implement a program at your school.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, followed by millions, with a simple message: one day a week, cut out meat for personal health and the health of the planet. To find out more, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Instagram!

The announcement is seeing coverage from local and national news outlets. Here are a few highlights:

New York City School Menus Go Meatless on Mondays – The Wall Street Journal

De Blasio to make Mondays meat-free in schools – Politico

Can ‘Meatless Mondays’ at New York City Public Schools Actually Curb Emissions? – Newsweek

New York public schools to have ‘Meatless Mondays’ starting this fall – CNN

New York City Public Schools Join ‘Meatless Mondays’ Campaign – Fortune

Mayor de Blasio: NYC will have ‘Meatless Mondays’ in all public schools – Fox News

NYC will have ‘Meatless Mondays’ in all public schools – The Boston Globe

De Blasio announces ‘Meatless Mondays’ in all NY public schools next year – The Hill

New York City Public Schools will Go Meatless on Mondays – Pacific Standard

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Says Its Schools will Have ‘Meatless Mondays’ This Fall, Claiming It Helps the Planet – Newsweek

NYC To Dish Out ‘Meatless Monday’ Lunches At All Public Schools – HuffPost

Meatless Monday is expanding to all public schools in New York City – World Economic Forum

NYC Announces Meatless Mondays for 1.1 Million Students – Forks Over Knives

Meatless Mondays Come to All New York City Schools – LiveKindly

New York mayor announces “Meatless Monday” public-school lunches – The Takeout

Meatless Mondays Expand to All New York City Public Schools – Edible Manhattan

Meatless Mondays are coming to NYC schools – Time Out New York

De Blasio Signs Off On NYC Public Schools Adopting ‘Meatless Monday’ Lunch Policy – CBS New York

‘Meatless Mondays’ Program Expands to NYC Public Schools – NBC New York

Meatless Mondays are students’ vegetarian reality in the 2019-2020 school year – AM New York