Los Angeles’ Food Service Division has suggested rolling out a vegan lunch menu to every school in the district by the end of the year.
This would make the district the first in the US to have a plant-based option in every school.
The plans follow a successful pilot scheme launched at Roosevelt High School lunch menu in September this year, sparked by eighth grade student (and founder of Earth Peace Foundation) Lila Copeland and championed by former school board president Steve Zimmer.
Copeland said: “We are thrilled with the reaction to the pilot and that most of the kids trying the new lunches were not vegan or vegetarian
“We think more kids will now choose a healthy lunch option.”
According to reports, some of the vegan dishes have been so popular – despite a lack of promotion – that they regularly run out quickly.
The vegan chili is a particular favorite according to one student, who said: “Everyone loves [it].
“It got me thinking about my diet, and so I’ve tried more of the vegan options. There’s a stereotype that it has less flavor, but it’s not true.”
Other popular dishes include the tamale and vegan teriyaki burger.
School Café Manager Kiki Tarrant says she ran out of 500 servings of vegan dishes, adding: “I’ve needed two times what we had. They are asking for vegan now. Students are paying more attention to what they eat.”
Joseph Vaughn, Food Services Director, has said he is ‘committed’ to rolling out the vegan program.
From January 2018 Food Services will work to identify 35 additional elementary, middle and high schools to expand the menu in to.
Additionally, the vegan menu will increase from its current five rotating options to 10.
Vaughn says: “The data clearly shows that a sufficient number of students desire vegan options in addition to the regular lunch menu.”