The Lady of Sion School in Worthing opened what is believed to be UK’s first 100% Plant-Based Canteen serving black bean and quinoa meatballs in barbecue sauce, veggie fajitas with Mexican rice and meatless feast pizza.
A school in West Sussex has received an overwhelming positive response after it adopted an all-vegan menu.
In January, The Lady of Sion School in Worthing opened what is believed to be UK’s first 100% Plant-Based Canteen.
The school partnered with Plant Based School Kitchens – a branch of a local vegan café – to finalise the menu with dishes including black bean and quinoa meatballs in barbecue sauce, veggie fajitas with Mexican rice and “meatless feast pizza”.
The head teacher added that the school worked with a nutritionist to make sure that the dishes were nourishing, while the caterers ensured that every allergen was eliminated in meal preparation.
Children who eat packed lunches are still allowed to bring in what they like, but 100% of the school’s catering is now plant-based.
It’s been really positive
“Kids often can’t quite believe that it’s vegan, and parents are now saying it’s given them an opportunity to try things in the week, because they were not sure how to manage it at home as well,” he told i news.
“We’ve had no negatives – and I was expecting to have to fight – but it’s been really positive.”
The idea for a plant-based canteen came after the school’s previous catering company closed down during the pandemic.
He added that the decision to turn the school menu vegan is in line with the school’s ethos about “how we can look after the planet and how we can give things back”,
“We’re very much multicultural, we’ve got Muslims, Jews, Hindus as well as Christian and non-religious [pupils], so it’s quite nice to have a menu that anyone can eat, and they’re not excluded because of religious beliefs as well, so that also was seen as positive,” Jeffery said.
The move has been a huge success
While some governors at the school were nervous about the outcome of their decision, headteacher Steven Jeffery said the canteen is getting “more and more popular” six months down the line.
In fact, some families have enrolled their children because of it.
“We had people joining the school because of it,” he said.
“I was surprised to be honest, because I thought if we were in Brighton, maybe, but Worthing’s much more conservative.
“But people that have moved into the area have been drawn in by that, so we’ve actually got some vegan families and environmentalists and people that are working on Netflix movies to do with the environment, who have said, ‘Yeah, this is great.’”
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