NORWALK — Starting in November, Norwalk Public Schools is offering expanded daily vegan entree options for lunch at schools in the district.
The schools only offered veggie burgers, vegetable-based “chik’n” nuggets, hummus or black beans and corn over chips, chickpea salad, crumbled Impossible beef as a nacho topping, and sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches.
New options include sweet and crunchy chickpea wraps, Impossible burgers, and a Mediterranean salad, according to a statement from Friends of Animals, a Darien-based animal advocacy nonprofit.
The expanded options make the school district’s menu more equitable, said Priscilla Feral, the nonprofit’s president.
The change make buying lunch more accessible for students with dietary restrictions — not just for vegan students, Feral said.
“We thought it was fair and considerate for students that otherwise were just going to be bringing their lunches from home,” she said.
Vegetarian and vegan options are not the same, Feral also pointed out; some vegetarian options contain animal-based ingredients that are not vegan-friendly, she said.
“When you shake it down, you realize that an occasional veggie burger has milk and eggs in it,” Feral said. “It’s not the same as a vegan option.”
More vegan options aren’t just a menu expansion for vegans or students with allergies, she said.
The vegan options are available to all students, regardless of their dietary choices, Feral said. “Someone with a meatless diet or somebody with a vegetarian diet or someone that’s an omnivore can eat that item.”