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Home > Issues Facing Teachers > Get Vegetarian and Vegan Options Added to Your Cafeteria's Menu

Get Vegetarian and Vegan Options Added to Your Cafeteria's Menu

Kids Eating Lunch Do you and your students want healthy, humane options at school? School cafeterias are growing more vegetarian- and vegan-friendly every day. If your school isn't offering veggie burgers, pasta, burritos, and other tasty, meat-free meals, we want to work with you to get some healthy, humane meals added to your school's menu.

By working with your class, not only can you encourage your school to increase the number of vegetarian and vegan options available in your cafeteria, you can also educate students about how their efforts can create positive change. Check out the following five-step guide to making this happen:

Step 1: Reach Out to Your Cafeteria

You'd be surprised at how easy it can be to bring about change just by asking politely. Send an e-mail or drop off a letter to the head of your school's cafeteria or dining hall requesting daily vegetarian and vegan options. Provide some recipes and resources for easy-to-prepare items so that the school knows how easy it is to incorporate vegetarian and vegan recipes into its menu.

Step 2: Meet With Your Principal

If that e-mail or letter didn't get results, it's on to step 2! Write or e-mail your school's principal and request a meeting. At the meeting, make sure you and your students are prepared to talk about why you want vegetarian and vegan options and what the benefits of a vegetarian and vegan diet are.

Step 3: Petition

If the principal declines your request, it's time to start petitioning! Print out several copies of your petition and ask coworkers and students to sign up and show their support. They don't have to be vegetarians or vegans to sign—they just need to want cruelty-free options. This is your best chance to present concrete evidence that both students and staff members support making healthy vegetarian and vegan options available for everyone to enjoy. If your students are involved in these efforts, encourage them to reserve some space for an informational table at which they can pass out materials and collect signatures during a busy lunchtime rush or school event. We can give you stickers and leaflets to help make the table more visually appealing and to help you provide visitors with information. Simply e-mail us with your request.

Step 4: Contact the School Paper

Most students and faculty members read the campus paper, so an article about your campaign or a letter to the editor explaining why you want vegetarian and vegan options will surely help create some momentum and will help pressure the school to add options. Contact the paper and see what its staff is willing to do!

Step 5: Contact Your Student Government

So you've got a bunch of student support and your school still refuses to become vegetarian- and vegan-friendly? Take your cause to your student government so that it can send a letter or set up a meeting between one of its representatives and the people who set the menu. Explain all the steps you've taken, show them your petitions, and request their help in making vegetarian and vegan food available in your cafeteria!

Still No Success?

You've tried your best to encourage your school to offer more vegetarian and vegan options in your cafeteria. Keep petitioning! You may want to pack your lunch while you contact us and wait to hear back as we come up with a unique plan to step up the pressure even more.

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