Flushing public school is first in city to serve all-vegetarian menu five days a week

| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

A Queens elementary school has become the first public school in the city to serve an all-vegetarian menu five days a week

P.S. 244, the Active Learning Elementary School, in Flushing, is also believed to be one of the first public schools in America to do so, said the Department of Education (DOE).

“I am proud of the students and staff for trailblazing this extraordinary path,” said Schools Chancellor Dennise Walcott.

Opening in 2008, the school first offered a vegetarian lunch three times a week, then increased it to four days.

The menu includes roasted chickpeas, braised black beans with plantains, tofu vegetable wrap with cucumber salad, vegetarian chili served with brown rice, falafel, and roasted tofu with Asian sesame sauce, according to the DOE.

“We created P.S. 244 based on a principle of a healthy lifestyle and academic achievement,” said Principal Robert Groff, one of the school’s founders. “We discovered early on that our kids were gravitating toward our vegetarian offerings, and we kept expanding the program to meet the demand. The vegetarian menu fits right in with our mission and we are thrilled that our students in Pre-Kindergarten all the way up to Grade 3 understand the importance of healthy and nutritious meals.”