Elementary school kids at a Flushing school won't be subjected to the horrors of pink slime anymore! PS 244 in Queens is now the first public school in the country to serve exclusively vegetarian food. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced the initiative yesterday and dined in the cafeteria to sample the meat-free meal himself. On the menu: black bean and cheddar quesadillas with salsa and red roasted potatoes and broccoli.
Earlier this year PS 244 began offering vegetarian items at lunch and based on the student's reactions decided to make the leap to all vegetarian all the time. "We discovered early on that our kids were gravitating toward our vegetarian offerings, and we kept expanding the program to meet the demand," explained Principal Robert Groff in a statement. The school partnered with the New York Coalition for Health School Food, a non-profit organization dedicated to "introducing plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools," to create the veggie-centric meals. Future meal offerings include roasted chickpeas, braised black beans with plantains, tofu veggie wraps, vegetarian chili with brown rice and roasted tofu with Asian sesame sauce.
But are the kids really going for this meat-free menu change? Apparently so! "My favorite food has to be rice and beans with mashed potatoes, but not the ones with a lot of salt. The ones with a lot of protein and nutrition,” third-grader Simran Puri explained to the Post. “It’s much more healthier. It helps to make our bodies stronger.” The school also made Fridays into a weekly pizza party, which makes sense since we all know pizza is a vegetable.