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Morning Spew

Eric Adams Comes For Your Kid’s Favorite School Lunches

And more news for your Thursday.

Mayor Eric Adams visits Concourse Village Elementary School in the Bronx with Schools Chancellor David Banks and local elected leaders Mayor Eric Adams visits Concourse Village Elementary School in the Bronx with Schools Chancellor David Banks and local elected leaders on Monday, January 3, 2022. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

Our notably and at times bizarrely health-conscious mayor cares a lot about what New York City's public school students eat. After Bill de Blasio instituted "Meatless Mondays" at the City's schools in 2019, Eric Adams did his predecessor one better and forced kids to eat what many described as unappetizing vegan meals on Fridays

Trying to make school menus healthier is a worthwhile endeavor, but it's probably more important to make sure that kids eat at all, and don't just throw meals in the trash. And as Chalkbeat reported, the mayor's budget cuts mean that beginning next month, some of the most popular items that our schools feed our city's youth will no longer be on the menu: 

A $60 million November cut to the city's school foods budget is forcing the Education Department to thin out next month's school cafeteria menu by removing a host of pricier items, including student favorites like cookies, chicken dumplings, and bean and cheese burritos, according to an email from a school food official obtained by Chalkbeat.

Additionally, at the growing number of middle and high schools with cafeterias that resemble food courts (part of an initiative expanded by Adams to improve the lunchroom experience), students will no longer get chicken tenders, grab-and-go salads, and French fries—items that are currently offered multiple days a week as options for kids who don't want that day’s main course.

Other items that will be taken out of rotation in February include roasted chicken thighs and legs as well as guacamole and salsa, the message said. Breakfast meal kits, French toast sticks, bagel sticks, ciabatta bread, and sweet potato oatmeal muffins will also be scratched.

You can see the February menu here

Now hold up, you might be wondering after perusing that menu. Cajun pinto beans? Manicotti? An egg and cheese on a buttermilk biscuit? Sounds pretty tasty. 


Students that Chalkbeat spoke to were not pleased by the changes. 

As Clarissa Kunizaki, a sophomore at Brooklyn Tech, told the outlet: "The chicken thighs and legs were the best option for lunch in my opinion, since the other hot meals usually do not taste great." She was also sad to see the bean and cheese burritos, which she said were "pretty good," leave the menu. Fourth grader Mia Ueoka echoed Kunizaki. "My favorite thing on the menu was the cheese and bean burrito and the chicken thighs. I actually felt like I could get protein from it," the nine-year-old told Chalkbeat. (Gotta protect your gains, Mia!)

The $60 million cut to the food budget is part of a much bigger cut to DOE funding that Adams made last November. But I guess feeding kids food they actually enjoy to fuel their brains and bodies to go to school and learn is less important than this:

And some tasty links that remain on the menu:

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