A recent survey completed by 1,200 school nutrition directors throughout the US revealed that vegetarian meals have increased as a regular school lunch option from 22% in 2003 to nearly 67% in 2009. Additionally, the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, which subsidizes the meals, received over 10,000 public comments in 2008 requesting an increase the availability of vegetarian foods at schools. The survey also showed that 20.5% of the lunch programs nationwide offer vegan meal options, meaning foods with no animal-based products. In an effort to feature even more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in lunches, the School Nutrition Association is calling for an increase in government subsidies for its programs.
What heartening news! Bravo, School Nutrtion Association and US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, for your efforts to expand offerings of vegetarian and vegan meals! We look forward to the day when such delicious fresh veg meals are the norm for students worldwide.