Flushing School Receives PETA Award for Going All-Vegetarian

P.S. 244 Gives Kids a Valuable—and Delicious—Lesson in Good Health and Kindness

For Immediate Release:
May 2, 2013

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Queens, N.Y. — Public School (P.S.) 244 in Flushing, New York, has been attracting a lot of attention since school officials made the health-conscious decision to offer an all-vegetarian menu to its elementary school students for both breakfast and lunch after working closely with the group New York Coalition for Healthy School Food. It’s believed that P.S. 244 is the first public school in the nation to go all vegetarian. That news didn’t escape TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—which is giving P.S. 244 a Compassionate School Award.

“Good health begins with good food, and our hats are off to the educators who’ve put P.S. 244 in a class of its own,” says Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “As the bad news about meat and other animal products mounts every day, we believe that P.S. 244 could be the flagship for a new trend that may be emulated at schools across the country.”

Although the program was initiated to promote good health among students, according to news reports, the kids are really eating it up—figuratively and literally. Offerings include black beans, tofu, falafel, and other healthy fare prepared in ways that are putting smiles on students’ faces. The best part is that kids can easily skip the eggs and cheese and dig into a healthier Earth- and animal-friendly vegan meal.

Besides being turned off by the massive suffering of animals raised and killed for food, students have other good reasons to shun animal products. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters are. Many children who are raised on the traditional cholesterol- and saturated fat–laden American diet show symptoms of heart disease by age 7. Also, the United Nations has concluded that factory farming is one of the biggest contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every level—from local to global—and that a worldwide shift toward a vegan diet is vital if we are to combat the worst effects of climate change.

The school will receive a framed certificate and a letter of appreciation. For more information, please visit TeachKind.com.

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