Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Diverse Coalition Rallies Around Weprin Bill for Kosher & Halal Meals in Public Schools

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DIVERSEALBANY, NEW YORK – As New York’s legislators prepare for another legislative session, a broad-based coalition of New York advocates, faith based groups, parents and students rallied in support of legislation to provide halal and kosher meals in New York City public schools upon request as well as in support of efforts to extend the Universal Free Lunch for All program for all students in all New York City schools. Assembly legislation sponsored by Assemblyman David I. Weprin (A7231) requires New York City public schools to provide students who have religious dietary restrictions with appropriate meal options upon request of the student.

New York City is home to an incredibly diverse population, with a growing number of students of faith attending New York’s schools. Providing food options for children with religious dietary restrictions will allow these students to have a nutritious meal with their peers at school, allowing students to freely exercise their faith while also increasing cultural exposure and understanding for all students.

“If kosher and halal meals are already provided in prisons, they absolutely should be provided in our schools” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “Our state is one of incredible religious and ethnic diversity, and it is our duty to provide for all of those living in New York. The students of our state should not have to choose between a nutritious meal and their religion.”

“The City of New York must provide kosher and halal options for school lunches in public and nonpublic schools” said Jake Adler, New York Policy Director for the Orthodox Union. “The new ‘free school lunch for all’ program must be made to live up to its promise to provide a free nutritious lunch to every single student in every School in New York City. The continued failure to provide kosher or halal options needlessly leaves tens of thousands of students out and goes against the very essence of what New York should be. I applaud Assembly Member David Weprin for working on this issue. We look forward to continuing together, until every student in public and nonpublic schools can actually benefit from school lunch for all.”

“The urgency of passing halal & kosher food is dire and must not be taken lightly. The livelihoods of thousands of New York City public school students’ futures depend on it. Many students, due to their faiths, cannot eat all foods and need a specific requirement for eating foods. They should not have to apologize for that. This is a country of freedom to practice your religion freely & we must never forget that. So, let’s begin to make change for all of humanity starting today with this bill. This is for all of us” said Mazeda A.Uddin, Founder of the South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST).

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