The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Meredith Turner

Washington D.C. City Council Unanimously Passes Law Encouraging More Plant-Based Meals at City Schools

Farm Sanctuary Endorses Healthy Schools Act Making Vegetarian and Non-Dairy Beverage Options More Widely Available at School Meals


Farm Sanctuary, the
nation's leading farm animal protection organization, today congratulates
the District of Columbia City Council for unanimously approving the D.C.
Healthy Schools Act on June 2 which will provide new and innovative guidelines
to offer students healthy meals at school. This auspicious law will establish
local nutritional standards for school meals and make plant-based meal options
and non-dairy beverages more widely available at schools within the D.C. area.

Amongst many positive effects the law will have, the D.C.
Healthy Schools Act will encourage school districts to offer vegetarian meals
to students on a weekly basis; will instruct public and charter schools to
inform families and guardians that plant-based meals and non-dairy beverage
options are available if a request for such items is made; and will provide
additional funding for the purchase of fruits and vegetables by school
districts, thereby making these healthy foods more affordable to schools within
the area in question.

"By passing this law, the D.C. City Council has taken
a significant stand for the health of the capital's students,"
notes Dr. Allan Kornberg, executive director of Farm Sanctuary. "As a
pediatrician with more than 25 years of experience, I have seen first-hand the
extraordinarily harmful effects of unhealthy diets on children. Providing
nutritious, cruelty-free food to students is a basic yet incredibly vital way
to immediately improve the lives of our nation's youth."

Beyond the realm of D.C., Farm Sanctuary has launched a
national campaign to pass the much-needed federal Healthy School Meals Act
(H.R. 4870). As an amendment to the Child Nutrition Act, this new legislation would offer financial incentives to
school districts throughout the country that offer students plant-based food
options and non-dairy beverages. Not only would H.R. 4870 assist
in improving the health of the general youth population, but it would also
bring relief to many students who refrain from consuming animal products for
ethical, environmental, religious, or other reasons. Previously, students
wishing to abstain from consuming dairy were required to have a note from a
doctor before being offered any alternatives. Should the Healthy School Meals
Act pass, this requirement would be rescinded and those students would be
offered nutritionally equivalent alternatives.

"The D.C. City Council should be proud of the action
it took today," continued Dr. Kornberg. "The D.C. Healthy Schools
Act will allow schools within the city that cannot currently afford to do so to provide healthy,
plant-based options to their students in the very near future. With the federal
Healthy School Meals Act, we hope to extend this ability to schools around our
nation, allowing students to receive proper nutrition and to have vegan,
non-dairy options at school meals, regardless of a district's financial

If you would like to speak with Farm
Sanctuary Executive Director Allan Kornberg, please contact Meredith Turner at
646-369-6212 or

Farm Sanctuary fights the disastrous effects of animal agriculture on animals, the environment, social justice, and public health through rescue, education, and advocacy.