Adams claims that the healthful initiative has been welcomed with open arms by students, adding that “they are tired of the food they are being [fed] in their schools, and they want healthy options.” The mayor also notes that each of the vegan items served during Friday lunches have been taste tested by a small group of students in advance (via ABC 7).
However, according to New York Daily News, the Vegan Fridays initiative — which was set to debut with a citywide menu of seasoned broccoli and veggie tacos — got off to a somewhat bumpy start, as some schools failed to have the proper ingredients required to craft the vegan menu by launch time. Other schools apparently served the plant-based dishes, but topped them with dairy products and other non-vegan ingredients.
New York state senator Jessica Ramos tweeted a photo of a vegan lunch offered to one student (consisting of a small pile of roast veggies, apple slices, and baked tortilla chips), writing: “@NYCMayor I am as much a believer in the power of healthy food as you, but this ain’t it. This was served to a public school student … for Vegan Fridays. The only real meal some of our city’s kids can count on is what they get [at] school. This wasn’t thought through.”