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Buffalo Muslim Community Services push for halal foods in Buffalo Public Schools

Posted at 6:09 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 10:29:00-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Public Schools provide around 28,000 school lunches every day. But meals like hot dogs, hamburgers, and sometimes even chicken, are not suitable for all Muslim students.

So, Atiqur Rahman sent a letter to Common Council members Mitch Nowakowski and Bryan Bollman encouraging them to bring halal foods into buffalo public schools

“The letter was addressed to council member Bollman and myself because we have a large Muslim population in our districts," Nowakowski said. "We were able to, after reading this letter, understand the importance and significance of halal lunch options.”

Halal is an Arabic word that translates to lawful, and for religious reasons, all meats that Muslims can consume must be prepared in a halal or lawfully religious way. With thousands of Muslims attending Buffalo Public Schools, many organizations fear that these lunch limitations will stray Muslim students away from their religion or make it harder for them to socialize during school.

“And that's why its so important and critical that halal options are included in Buffalo Public Schools," Nowakowski said. "Because it's really a matter of equity and inclusion for all students.”

Council members say the district is open to incorporating halal food options into its lunch program. The groups will further discuss this option next Tuesday in front of the education committee.