Saying that meat and poultry products are an essential part of a balanced diet, American Meat Institute (AMI) is urging Baltimore Public Schools (BPS) to reconsider its decision to hold "Meatless Mondays."
Baltimore's school system is the first to adopt the initiative, which denies 80,000 students a meat option on Mondays. Three out of four students in the BPS system are eligible for free or reduced meals. In addition, school meals may be the only significant source of meat and poultry in their diets.
"Surely you have always offered a vegetarian option on your menu," wrote J. Patrick Boyle, AMI president and chief executive officer in a letter to Andrés Alonso, chief executive officer, Baltimore City Schools. "Now you are removing a meat or poultry entrée on Mondays and depriving children and their parents of the ability to determine what is appropriate for their diets and their own personal circumstances."
"I am confident that you are concerned not just about the education of your students, but also about their health and nutrition status. I urge you to reconsider this decision and allow children every day that they attend school to access the most nutrient dense food available: meat and poultry products. Your children, in particular, deserve this choice," Boyle concluded.
Reprinted in part from Pork Magazine