Allen Fagin, CEO of the Orthodox Union, accuses New York Bill de Blasio of “openly discriminating against students in nonpublic and religious schools,” because the mayor’s new free school lunch plan isn’t kosher, the NY Daily News reported Monday.
De Blasio introduced his federally funded program on Sept. 6, with a promise of providing free meals for all the city students. However, according to the OU, as many as 30,000 yeshiva students cannot benefit from the plan because the food is not kosher certified.
It is estimated that 38% of NYC public school students are Jewish or Muslim.
While the new plan does offer students vegetarian meals, which can pass for religious Jews and Muslims, but both groups require certification. Indeed, should the OU get the business, it would satisfy the Muslim community as well, as kashrut laws are more stringent than halal.
When he introduced his “Free School Lunch for All” plan, de Blasio promised that “every kid in New York City has the fuel they need to succeed,” since the program is also offered to NY City private schools. But according to the OU’s Maury Litwack, as many as 200 Jewish schools cannot benefit because of their kashrut requirement.
“The reality is far from the mayor’s promise,” Litwack told the Daily News.
The OU is planning an ad campaign condemning the mayor’s failure to meet the nutritional needs of city children, which would be a terrible outcome of the mayor’s campaign set on showing how much he cares for city children. Darn you, Law of Unintended Consequences…