How to Make Your School/College/University More Vegan Friendly
It’s important that your school/college/university offers balanced and tasty vegan
meals. If like most you are not being well catered for then it’s time to do
something about it!
are some tips on how to help the catering staff in your school, college or
university offer vegan options.
up on the issues that you will need to put forward. It’s not just vegans who
want cruelty-free food: vegetarians, those with food intolerances such as dairy
and egg, and people who do not eat animal products for religious beliefs also
need to have a choice of healthy and tasty food and snacks. Ask us for a free
Information Pack to help explain the different reasons why people choose a
plant-based diet and for information on vegan nutrition.
Before you approach those in charge of catering,
collect signatures from students and staff who are interested in eating
animal-free food to show that there is a demand. Supporters don’t have to be
vegan themselves, but may just be interested in trying exciting new, healthier
hands are better than one: if your school/college/uni does not already have a
veggie/vegan group for you to work with then check out our contacts page in The
Vegan magazine to find your local Youth Contact, or why not offer to be a
contact for your area or set up your own group?
Armed with your signatures of support approach the
Catering Manager and/or the catering company that supplies the meals to your
school as well as your Head Teacher and explain your request in a confident but
The Vegan Society has a great catering pack which
includes nutrition information, meal plans, recipes and wholesaler contact
information. Ask us for a free copy.
Hopefully, you will be successful in making vegan
foods available, but your task does not stop there! Demand needs to be
maintained if the catering department is to be convinced that making the extra
effort is worthwhile, so help them spread the good news:
to your school magazine and local paper informing them about the new
choices. Include pictures of great looking food if you can. Don’t forget
to include details such as location, prices of dishes etc.
a cruelty-free food day to launch the new menu. See if you can give away
some free samples of the dishes and don’t forget to publicise it well with
posters, flyers and a letter to your school paper. Contact us for leaflets
on vegan issues to hand out.
the cafeteria to clearly label which foods are vegan (both on the menu and
on the dishes themselves).
- World Vegan Day (November 1st) and World
Vegan Month (November) are great
occasions to boost publicity and interest. Ask us for an activist pack for
Keep it up
To maintain demand for vegan food, keep the catering
department informed of new products and recipes. (Do this a few times a year
rather than bombarding them with information all the time or they may stop
Help them with festive recipes for Christmas, Pancake
Day, Passover etc, and offer to publicise the dishes.
While it seems strange to us that we have to go to
such lengths to get food that everyone can enjoy into our cafeterias and dinner
halls, we have to appreciate that it does require some extra effort from the
catering staff, at least initially. Don’t forget to thank them for their
efforts: send them a letter or why not club together and get them a box of
yummy vegan chocolates?
If it appears like their enthusiasm is slipping then
politely offer them help with new menu suggestions - getting angry or moaning
straight away will not help matters!
Feel free to let us know how your mission to make your
learning environment more vegan friendly goes. If you have any tips then let us
know too, so that we can share them with others.