On December 8, 2022, a local news outlet reported that Middletown Public Schools in Connecticut is in the process of adopting a “Meatless Monday” initiative in which students are forced to pick from only vegetarian options while eating at school. This initiative is an effort to teach “kids about the environmental impact they can have based on what they choose to eat.” The news report explained that recently “students at Middletown High School did a taste test of the Impossible Burger.” The “Impossible Burger” is an attempt in recent years to create a burger that has no meat.
The district’s food services manager explained: “We’re hoping to introduce that to all of our schools within the next couple of months.” The news outlet explained that the food services manager is “behind the massive operation that feeds 4,800 students each day” in the district. The reason behind the “Meatless Monday” initiative appears to be political. The district’s food services manager stated:
Going meatless, even if it’s just one day a week, you’re saving lots of water. We’re also promoting the health and the humanitarian efforts of animals, and also reducing our greenhouse gases.
The news outlet then reported that the district’s food initiatives are taxpayer “funded through USDA Child Nutrition Programs.” On January 3, 2023, The Middletown Press newspaper reported that the food services manager originally “rolled out Meatless Mondays options” in February 2022. The Middletown Press then reported:
In early December, an Impossible vendor showed cafeteria staff how to prepare, cook and dress up the products. Burgers were prepared with and without cheese and presented with an array of sauces for students to try.
The goal appears to extend beyond just serving a vegetarian burger. The food services manager also “hopes soon to try out plant-based foods at the middle and eight elementary schools, including Impossible meatless meatballs and chicken nuggets, as well as sourcing from other vendors that sell a crumbled product for tacos and pasta sauces, for example.”