Some Muslim CPS students claim they’re going hungry

The Business of Food with Steve Alexander

CPS doesn't offer Halal food and a Refugee Social Worker for the district says students want change.

Source: Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, Des Plaines, IL

Sullivan High School in Rogers Park has a large immigrant population, with a sizable number of Muslim students. Over 80% of them say they aren’t getting enough, or anything, to eat at the school because Aramark doesn’t offer food that is sourced and prepared under Islamic rules, what’s called Halal. Joshua Zepeda, Refugee Social Worker at CPS, says students are taking matters into their own hands, asking for a meeting with Aramark where they plan on letting their demands be known. Assisting in the effort to correct the problem is the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, which is headquartered in Des Plaines.

On 1/14/22, CPS Press Secretary Evan F. Moore responded: “Chicago Public Schools (CPS) aims to ensure that District students receive a nutritious and varied cafeteria menu. The District currently has five schools offering daily Halal options on the menu with the option to request Kosher meals. We are more than happy to expand this program to other schools if we know there is a need for Kosher/Halal food options. We were recently notified of the request for Halal food options at Sullivan High School. The team has a meeting scheduled with students from the school this month to discuss their needs and how we can add Sullivan to the Halal/Kosher pilot program.”

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