The links in this section will take you to another website which will open in a new window.

January 22, 2020

Schools Deal With Vegan Food Learning Curve

Note: We were slightly mis-quoted in this article. Our Executive Director actually said “… all school children can benefit from having more plant-based options in their diet.” (The article said … more vegetables in their diet… which of course is also true but not what we said.) The point is, that whether a student is vegan or not, vegan options would positively impact all children.


August 28, 2019

Fueling the Next Generation


May 28, 2018

50% of the Meals in This California School District Are Vegan


March 22, 2018

Nutrition Education Programs in NYC schools.


October 11, 2017

Third NYC Public School Goes Vegetarian with the Help of CHSF!


October 2, 2017

New York City Adds Vegan Option to All Schools


May 25, 2015

A New York City elementary school goes vegetarian


February 12, 2015

Second NYC Public School Goes Vegetarian with the Help of CHSF!


February 9, 2015

Second NYC Public School Goes Vegetarian


January 15, 2015

Using Regionally Grown Grains and Pulses in School Meals. Our Ithaca Cool School Food was a featured case study in this report on regionally grown grains and beans.


October 23, 2014

Find out how PS244 is teaching students about the environment, and how their vegetarian menu supports a healthier environment.


September 4, 2014

Food Network Story on PS244, the all vegetarian school and the Role the Coalition for Healthy School Played to Help it Change Menus.


May 27, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama and NYCHSF Executive Director Amie Hamlin speak about the importance of school meal regulations.


April 17, 2014

Inhabitat: Interview with Executive Director Amie Hamlin

Amie discusses the work of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food and how to create change.


January 28, 2014

Repair the World: Interview with Executive Director Amie Hamlin

Amie discusses the work of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food and how to create change.


Some of the media announcing NYCHSF’s first public (non-charter) vegetarian school in country:

October, 2013

ABC: ABC TV News – School on vegetarian menu shows off results

NY DAILY NEWS: Queens school that went vegetarian shows student gains, draws plaudit


May 1, 2013

NBC: NYC public school swaps chicken nuggets for tofu, becomes first all-vegetarian cafeteria

FOX: All Vegetarian menu at NYC elementary school

DAILY NEWS: School 244 in Flushing, Queens, becomes first public school in nation to serve only vegetarian meals


NY POST: ‘Garden’-variety: Queens school goes all-vegetarian, in a first

EVERYDAY HEALTH: Reading, Writing, and Rethinking School Meals

NY DAILY NEWS: San Diego elementary schools to adopt ‘Meatless Mondays’ but New York’s P.S. 244 in Flushing still boasts only all vegetarian lunch menu


March 7, 2013

Ithaca school lunch program going strong under new nutrition standards

NYCHSF’s Cool School Food program in Ithaca is highlighted in this newspaper article.


July 23, 2012

NATIONAL NEWS – NY Coalition for Healthy School Food featured on national television!

with Jane Velez-Mitchell. NY Coalition for Healthy School Food aims to make school-provided food more nutritious.


July 20, 2012

Should Milk Be Banned From Schools?

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has sued the USDA asking that milk no longer be required to be offered in school meals. Currently, schools must offer 5 components for lunch, and students must take 3 of those 5 components for the school to be reimbursed for the meal. Based on the new regulations, one of the components must be a fruit or a vegetable. Children do not have to take milk, but it must be offered, and often it is pushed. That’s because there is still a belief that milk is necessary for strong bones, even though research shows otherwise.


PRESS RELEASE July 16, 2012

NYCHSF Recipes distributed to 14,000 Schools Nationwide through Alliance for a Healthier Generation


June 15, 2012

Queens Library installs snack and soda vending machines

NYCHSF quoted in New York Daily News article on vending machines in libraries. New York Coalition for Healthy School Food Executive Director Amie Hamlin noted that vending machines in every place that we go encourages people to overeat. We don’t need to have food available every place that we go.


May 9, 2012

Institute of Medicine Report Emphasizes Shift From Personal Blame to Environment for Obesity

The report that this article addresses focuses on the idea that the environment must be addressed to deal with obesity. The problem cannot be blamed on individuals, we must address environmental factors. The statement in the article by Secretary of Agriculture Glickman that subsidies do not contribute to obesity is politics as usual, however. The article states, and the research shows, the connection between soda and obesity, and high fructose corn syrup is the primary sweetener in soda. High fructose corn syrup is used in many foods because it is cheap, and it is cheap because it is subsidized. It strikes us that this IS evidence!


April 19, 2012

Crowd Out UnHealthy Food for Weight Loss

Nutrition expert Kathy Freston gives great tips for weight loss.


April 4, 2012

“Upstanders” Lesson the Stigma of School Meals

This article explores the links between bullying and school meals. It makes the point, which NYCHSF has always made, that a la carte sales stigmatize the children who cannot afford to purchase those foods.


March 14, 2012

The Truth Behind Pink Slime

Read this article on Appetite for Profit for news that’s not in the mainstream media. Link to a talk by the whistleblower from BPI talking about their misleading claims.


December 05, 2011

Pizza as a Vegetable and Other Roadblocks to Proper Nutrition – Gotham Gazette

This month Congress blocked an effort by the Agriculture Department to create stricter guidelines to ensure that schools served fruits and vegetables. Currently schools are able to claim credit for serving a vegetable even for the watered-down tomato paste present on a slice of pizza. The New York Times reports that food companies including ConAgra, Coca-Cola and frozen pizza-maker Schwan praised the decision as reasonable.


November 18, 2011

Class parties pack a lot of calories, and if fruit is offered, it is actually eaten!

This article sheds light on how many calories are consumed at class parties. With all of the holidays and birthdays, it can add up to a lot of parties – and calories – each year. Between 259 – 455 calories were consumed at these parties, and the consumption was in the lower range if fruit was also available. Getting the food out of parties, and fruit – and vegetables – into the classroom is a great idea. There are many creative ways to celebrate a holiday or birthday without extra food. The article did not address how offering party foods undermines parents efforts to control what their elementary age children are consuming.


October, 2011

Colorado School, Formerly NYCHSF School, Receives Award

SOAR, a charter school in Colorado, has received a major award for healthy sustainable food. The school was founded and operated by the former founders and administrators of Future Leaders Institute Charter School in Harlem (FLI). FLI was the first school that New York Coalition for Healthy School Food had programs in. Congratulations to Gianna and Marc at SOAR!!!


July 6, 2011

Youth Grow Summit at Cornell

Read about the Youth Grow Summit at Cornell. NYCHSF was one of the presenters at the conference. It was inspiring to present to students who are working to change the world!


June 28, 2011

Leaders of NYCHSF’s first school in NYC start vegetarian school in Denver

Read about the approach the founders of the first school we worked with in Harlem have taken in the schools they went on to start in Denver, CO.


June, 2011

New York Coalition for Healthy School Food recognized on Alliance for a Healthier Generation website

One of the schools that NYCHSF has a program in, PS 244, has received an award from Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and NYCHSF was recognized on the site.


June 15, 2011

LA Unified School District Removes Flavored Milk From Menus, adds Vegetarian Options

Learn why LA Unified is making changes.


June 3, 2011

Healthier School Lunch Rules Could Cost Districts

This is a TV segment featuring Executive Director Amie Hamlin and Ithaca School Food Service Director Denise Agati.


May 2011

New York Farm to School – Cool School Food

Learn what we are doing in Ithaca and NYC, as featured in the New York Farm to School May e-news!


March 11, 2011

Fight for Your Food Rights

This article talks about the food industry and personal responsibility. It’s a good, simple explanation of what the food industry does and what we have to do to overcome their influence.


March 25, 2011

USDA Adds More Funding to Federal Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program

The Fresh Fruit and Snack Program that is funded by the federal government is a great program, except that it should exist in every school. At least there is movement – additional dollars are being put toward the program.


December 19, 2010

School Food Programs Aim to Counter Obesity Epidemic – Feature about NYCHSF Work in NYC

See what NYCHSF is doing in NYC, and learn how NYC SchoolFood is leading the way by setting a good example for cafeteria guidelines.


December 14, 2010

New School Food Bill So Much More Than Just the Measly Reimbursement

Margo Wootan, PhD, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest explains why the new Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, signed into law on December 13, 2010, will create great changes, despite the fact that the additional funds for reimbursement are only 6 cents. In addition, at the end of the article it references a reimbursement of 20 cents, and it should be noted that reimbursement is for children paying “full” price for their meals, while the reimbursement for children receiving free and reduced price meals is more.


October 22, 2010

New York Coalition for Healthy School Food and Chef Mark Barrett of Henry’s Helps Schools

This New York Times article talks about efforts NYCHSF is making in NYC schools, specifically at DeWitt Clinton in the Bronx, and about a training for the cooks at schools participating in our program, Project Cook School Food. The training was conducted by Chef Mark Barrett, along with NYC SchoolFood Chef Sid Grabel.


May 11, 2010

Ithaca College Alumni Spotlight: Amie Hamlin


January 23, 2010

School Meal Study Provides Food for Thought

Now, the results are in. According to a new study, Berkeley Unified School District’s School Lunch Initiative works. A three-year UC Berkeley study shows that students fed a steady curriculum of gardening, cooking and nutrition have significantly better eating habits than children who don’t get the same instruction.


January 27, 2010

State of the Union’s School Lunch: Nutrition as National Defense and Fiscal Health

Don’t make us tighten our belts on child nutrition programs while the girth of the nation grows. The government spends $1 million per soldier in Afghanistan, yet barely spends $1 on the food in a school lunch.


January 19, 2010

$25 Million in Grants for Food Service Equipment

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of $25 million in grants for school food service equipment to help support high quality and safe school meal programs. Congress invested in these grants as part of a one year extension of the child nutrition programs enacted last October to address immediate challenges schools and food service directors are facing amidst state budget cuts. New York State is slated to receive New York, $1,487,348 of the total.


October 1, 2009

A Diet of Mostly Plants (or all) Prevents and Reverses diet related diseases

This article is by Dean Ornish, MD, whose research proved you could reverse advanced heart disease, and his program is covered by over 40 major insurance companies – because it works!


July 29, 2009

The Washington Post: The Meat of the Problem

The debate over climate change has reached a rarefied level of policy abstraction in recent months. Carbon tax or cap-and-trade? Upstream or downstream? Should we auction permits? Head-scratching is, at this point, permitted. But at base, these policies aim to do a simple thing, in a simple way: persuade us to undertake fewer activities that are bad for the atmosphere by making those activities more expensive. Driving an SUV would become pricier. So would heating a giant house with coal and buying electricity from an inefficient power plant. But there’s one activity that’s not on the list and should be: eating a hamburger. Take home less: eat less meat. (Editors note: schools should strive to offer at least one plant-based entrée per day as a healthy, environmentally sound option.)


July 22, 2009

In Addition to Soda, Juices, Tea, and Energy Drinks (and Diet Soda) Erode Teeth

Research shows that drinks thought to be better choices, fruit juice, teas, and energy drinks, erode teeth. It should be pointed out that diet soda does as well. Take home lesson: water is the beverage of choice.


July 22, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Working to Ban Trans Fats in Schools

With health care reform the top priority for Congress, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is focusing her efforts on reducing childhood obesity, announcing a new plan to ban trans fats in school and provide healthier school lunches. As the first New York Senator in 40 years to sit on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Gillibrand is providing New Yorkers with a seat at the table as congress debates how to improve the health of children and the food they eat each day. From her seat on the Committee, Senator Gillibrand is working to secure more federal funds for New York State to combat childhood obesity and lower health care costs. (Editors note: there is no safe level of trans fats – and due to food industry lobbying, food packages can claim they have no trans fat when in fact they have up to ½ gram per serving. Most people don’t eat only one serving. While the front of the package and the nutrition label may say “0” grams of transfat, you can determine if there actually is trans fat by looking at the ingredients label. You will know trans fats are present if you see the words “partially hydrogenated” or “shortening”.)


June 30, 2009

More Money for Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

The federal government has pledged to provide more funding for the federally funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, tripling the total amount available for the 2011/2012 school year compared to the 2008/2009 school year. In addition, the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act may include a salad bar provision, with additional reimbursements for schools implementing the salad bars according to the guidelines of the policy.


June 27, 2009

New York Coalition for Healthy School Food: Changing Student’s Minds One Bite At A Time

Candle 79 and Payard Patisserie & Bistro put on a great dinner at Future Leader’s Institute Charter School in Harlem, and according to a mom there, it’s making a difference at home, too!


June 11, 2009

Nachos for Lunch Everyday

Chicago schools serve nachos everyday, loaded with saturated fat and sodium, and high in calories. Somehow, this is allowed under the National School Lunch program. Chicago is not alone. Many schools offer multiple fast food type entrees every day as an option, NYCHSF has witnessed this firsthand on numerous occasions, with schools that offer chicken nuggets, pizza, or cheeseburgers on a daily basis for those who don’t want the hot meal. All children should have access to quality snacks, namely, fruits and vegetables


June 10, 2009

Junk Food Sold in NYC Schools Weakens Efforts to Promote Healthy Eating

An audit released by NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli found that junk food is routinely sold in New York City schools, undermining efforts of the federal and state governments and the City Department of Education (DOE) to promote healthy eating habits among the students. Auditors found that school stores and vending machines at 20 of 30 City schools visited sold candy, soda and other unhealthy snacks to students during lunch periods in direct violation of the Chancellor’s policies and in direct competition with the healthy lunches offered by the DOE.


June 3, 2009

The New Meal: Transforming School Food

Tony Geraci and friends (Antonia and Ariel Demas, to name two) are transforming school food in Baltimore from farm to fork. Next they plan do it across the country. (Antonia serves on NYCHSF’s Advisory Board)


June 2, 2009

What’s for Lunch? Schools Bring Vegetarian Options to the Table

We just discovered this article from the April 2008 issue of Today’s Dietitian. Recognizing students’ nutritional needs and preferences, districts across the country are revamping their menus—and receiving kudos for their healthy efforts. Dietitians confirm that plant-based entrees are a good choice, that many children and teens are becoming vegetarians, and that vegetarian choices are good for all students. But buyer beware: providing vegetarian options containing cheese and other dairy and/or egg products misses the point of healthier choices. Dairy is the #1 source of saturated fat in children’s diets.


May 19, 2009

The American Academy Of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) Calls For Immediate Moratorium On Genetically Modified Foods

The AAEM concludes “there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects” and that “GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.”


May 9, 2009

Diet, Not Lack of Exercise, to Blame for Obesity

Over-eating rather than more sedentary living is almost entirely to blame for the rise in obesity in the developed world, according to research. A study of the US obesity “epidemic” – a precursor of world dietary trends – suggests that there has not been any significant reduction in levels of exercise in the past 30 years. It concludes that the surge in obesity is a result of excessive calories.


April 21, 2009

Boulder’s Renegade Lunch Lady – An Interview with Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper has changed how children eat lunch in school on Long Island, Harlem, Berkeley, and now she’s getting started in Boulder. Ann discusses her career, what it takes to create change, and the political climate of today regarding food. (Anne serves on NYCHSF’s Advisory Board)


March 3, 2009

The Other Toxic Paradox

A profusion of green products allows us to excuse ourselves from acting beyond our own households. But we can’t shop our way to safety. We must turn to politics, not just products, to solve our toxic problems.


March 2, 2009

Kids Prefer Veggies with Cool Names

In a new study, 186 four-year-olds were given regular carrots and, on other lunch days, they were given the same vegetables renamed X-ray Vision Carrots. On the latter days, they ate nearly twice as many.


March 2009

Two incredible videos: Lunch Lessons and Bringing Ideas to the Table

Watch two of NYCSF’s Advisory Board Members, Kate Adamick and Ann Cooper, discuss the problems with school food and what you can do about it. Then, watch Marion Nestle and Morgan Spurlock as they discuss school food. These videos are extremely informative and the Lunch Lessons video can be obtained on DVD. We recommend you show it at your Wellness Committee meetings, at your PTA meetings, and at any other venue you can arrange for.


February 26, 2009

President’s Budget for Child Nutrition

The President’s Budget supports a strong Child Nutrition and WIC reauthorization package that will ensure that low-income children receive the nutrition assistance they need and help fulfill the President’s pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015. The Budget provides an increase of $1 billion annually for program reforms aimed at improving program access, enhancing the nutritional quality of school meals, expanding nutrition research and evaluation, and improving program oversight. Funding is also provided to support over 9.8 million participants in the WIC program, which is critical to the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. This information is on page 45 of the document, under the Department of Agriculture section.


February 19, 2009

Alice Waters Editorial in the New York Times

Alice Waters, president of the Chez Panisse Foundation, and Katrian Heron lay out a plan for a new and improved school lunch program.


January 22, 2009

Greening a K-12 Curriculum, and the Whole School

Seemingly small things can lead to big changes in a school, when the moment is right and the community is willing. But changes that ultimately cut across all disciplines and grades are truly remarkable, especially when they take place in an institution founded back when Grover Cleveland was president and California had only recently become the 31st state in the union. Still, that is what happened at Head-Royce School, a K-12 independent school in Oakland, California that has committed itself to greening its entire curriculum.


November 25, 2008

Comments from Child Nutrition Reauthorization Sessions

In 2009, Congress will review the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. This legislation, which is set to expire on September 30, 2009, includes all the Federal child nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast and the National School Lunch Programs, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and others. In 2008, the USDA held listening sessions and you can read the comments here. Note that certain comments are clearly made by the food industry looking out for their own interests, which don’t always reflect what is best for children’s health.


August 14, 2008

Largest School District in Georgia Serves Up Vegetarian Meals Every Day

This school district found that a number of students enjoy vegetarian meals whether they are vegetarian or not.


January 11, 2005

Eating “LOTS” of Red Meat Linked to Colon Cancer – “LOTS” Defined as 2 Ounces per Week of Processed and 2 Ounces per Day of Red Meat

Numerous studies have confirmed that SMALL amounts of red or processed meats can cause colorectal cancer. In this study by the American Cancer Society, as little as 2 ounces (that would be one hotdog, or 2 slices of bologna) per week can increase colorectal cancer risk in women by 30 – 50%. However both the news media and journal articles define small amounts of red and processed meats as “LOTS”. (Editor’s note: since children are more susceptible to carcinogens than adults, and only 1 hotdog or 1 bologna sandwich (containing 2 slices of bologna) per week increases colorectal cancer risk in women by 30 – 50%, what does this mean for our children?)