Los Angeles Unified joined with five other major school districts Tuesday to announce plans to ban the use of chickens treated with antibiotics in school meals.
The move was taken by the Urban School Food Alliance, which includes LAUSD and the New York City, Chicago, Miami-Dade, Dallas and Orlando school districts. Combined, the districts serve nearly 2.9 million students and purchase more than $550 million in food and supplies every year.
Under the policy, the Alliance will require all chicken products to be produced under a USDA Process Verified Program that mandates:
— no antibiotics;
— no animal by-products in feed;
— animals raised on an all-vegetarian diet; and
— animals humanely raised as outlined in the National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines.
“The standards we’re asking from the manufacturers go above and beyond the quality of the chicken we normally purchase at local supermarkets,” said Urban School Food Alliance Chairman Eric Goldstein, who is also CEO of School Support Services for the New York City Department of Education. “This move by the Alliance shows that school food directors across the country truly care about the health and wellness of students.”
The LAUSD board on Tuesday also approved a resolution at its meeting today calling for antibiotic and hormone-free standards as part of its food- purchasing guidelines.
“The passing of the resolution shows the bold steps school districts are taking to ensure the health and wellness of students,” LAUSD Deputy Food Services Director Laura Benavidez said. “Providing the best possible, highest quality food for students shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a standard.”
— City News Service