This year, a bill was introduced to amend the education  law  in  relation  to  requiring  public schools to offer plant-based food options. The bill was initiated by the League of Humane Voters® (LOHV®) and introduced  by  Assembly Member Richard Gottfried.

It reads as follows:

The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 915-a to read as follows:

3  §  915-a.  Plant-based  food  options. 1. Upon request by a student or

4  person in parental relation to the student, every  public  school  shall

5  offer  the  student a plant-based food option as an alternative to every

6  meal or snack offered in food service to the  student.  The  plant-based

7  food option shall be offered at no additional cost to the student beyond

8  what would be charged for a comparable non-plant-based food option.

9  2.  The  school  shall  respond in a reasonable manner and time to any

10  request made under this section,  consistent  with  guidance  by  school

11  authorities.  The  request  shall  be effective for every school meal or

12  snack in which the student is reasonably expected to  participate.  This

13  section  does  not  preclude the offering of plant-based food options to

14  students who have not requested it, and does not preclude an  individual

15  who  has requested a plant-based food option from selecting a non-plant-

16  based food option.

17  3. As used in this section:

18  (a) “Plant-based food option” means food or beverages that are free of

19  animal products and, as relates to the  “protein”  portion  of  a  meal,

20  recognized  by  the  United  States  Department of Agriculture as a meat

21  alternate for purposes of the national school lunch program.

22   (b) “Animal product” means meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey,

23  and any derivative thereof.

24  4. In implementing this section, the  school  and  school  authorities

25  shall  consult  with  the  school  district nutrition advisory committee

26  under section nine hundred eighteen of this article, where applicable.

27    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to  public

28  school  food  service  beginning with the school year, as defined in the

29  education law, beginning one year after it shall have become a law.


Please contact Jeffery Termini, Legislative Director of LOHV® to see how you can help this bill to pass.