FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2019, (718) 546-0631






NEW YORK CITY (December 2, 2019) – The Department of Correction and the Brooklyn Borough President are proud to announce DOC’s participation in Meatless Mondays, a global movement that encourages people to reduce their intake of meat for at least one day a week. As of December 2nd, the Department’s Monday menus will feature a meatless breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in hopes of raising awareness of the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet.

“Promoting the wellbeing of those in our custody is a core component of our mission, and we take pride in introducing a healthier lifestyle to all. Our regular menu not only exceeds many FDA standards, but by joining the Meatless Mondays initiative we are providing more nutritious options once a week. We are also proud to be encouraging a healthier planet with less of a carbon footprint. Our hope is that individuals leave our custody more mindful of the benefits of a reduced meat diet, both for themselves and for the planet,” said DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann.

 “Earlier this year, all New York City public schools adopted our Meatless Monday initiative, which means that more than one million students now have increased access to healthy food. We believe that all New Yorkers deserve meals that promote healthy lifestyles, instead of setting them up for diet-related diseases. I am pleased to see that the New York City Department of Correction will also implement Meatless Mondays in all city correctional facilities beginning this month. This groundbreaking step, and the steps our office is taking to advance preventive medicine through initiatives like the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program at Bellevue Hospital, continue to make New York a global leader in public health. I want to thank the department for working with us to improve the lives of our incarcerated brothers, sisters and fellow New Yorkers,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

“I’m thrilled that the Department of Correction has decided to go meatless on Mondays. It’s such a simple first step towards a healthier lifestyle and a better environment. Eliminating meat at least once a week reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke, and increasing your daily servings of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will protect against cardiovascular disease. If the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road. DOC cannot be more proud to take on this initiative to help improve the health and wellness of those in our custody,” said DOC Chief of Staff Brenda Cooke.

“Congratulations to the Department of Correction for joining other New York City public institutions in promoting Meatless Mondays, a simple way to reduce the burden of chronic preventable diseases and decrease New York City’s carbon footprint. New York City and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams are global leaders in demonstrating the important role municipal governments can play in promoting healthy, sustainable diets,” said Sid Lerner, Founder of Meatless Mondays.

"The Department of Correction’s adoption of Meatless Mondays is the latest way those staying and working in New York City correctional facilities will be offered healthier options with long-term benefits. Promoting nutritious meals and lifestyle changes is good news for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Keith Powers

These new menus will not only reach individuals in custody, but staff members as well. A delicious selection of meatless options will be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu items may include but is not limited to, fresh fruit, cereals, and whole wheat bread for breakfast, vegetarian chili, brown rice, and steamed veggies for lunch, and veggie burgers, mashed potatoes, and salad for dinner.

“Going meatless once a week can reduce a person’s risk of chronic, preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious [natural] resources like fossil fuels and fresh water,” said Glenn O’Connor, Senior Executive Director of Nutritional Services at DOC.

“It’s great to see Meatless Mondays in New York City jails. With diet-related diseases on the rise, all New Yorkers can benefit from eating more plant-based meals, which have been proven to help fight heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems, ” said Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

In addition to going meatless on Mondays, the registered dieticians within the Department’s Nutritional Services Division work diligently to provide both staff and individuals in custody to create a standardized, heart-healthy menu. The menu complies with USDA Guidelines, NYC Standards, and can accommodate those seeking vegetarian, kosher, or halal options.


About the New York City Department of Correction

The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) provides for the care, custody, and control of persons accused of crimes or convicted and sentenced to one year or less of jail time. The Department manages 11 inmate facilities, 8 of which are located on Rikers Island.  In addition, the Department operates two hospital Prison Wards (Bellevue and Elmhurst hospitals) and court holding facilities in each borough. During Fiscal Year 2019, the Department handled over 39,000 admissions and managed an average daily inmate population of approximately 7,000 individuals. Our dedicated workforce of both uniformed and non-uniformed staff members represent the city’s BOLDEST.