In an aluminum pan, Silvéria Barbosa, 47, seasons the soybeans that will be the basis of the lunch menu in the Cheiro de Amor nursery.
After entering the cafeteria in a row, children between the ages of three and five will receive a plate of rice, soy, and grated carrots. "They do not always like it, but it is important to give this incentive in early childhood," the lunch helper said.
In all municipal schools in Serrinha, a city in the backlands of Bahia, 190 km from Salvador, children and adolescents eat twice a week with a vegan menu - without animal products. The same happens in three other neighboring cities: Teofilândia, Biritinga, and Barrocas.
The move is the result of a Conduct Adjustment Agreement signed between the municipalities and the Public Prosecution Service of the State of Bahia at the beginning of last year. Since then, about 32,000 students from 154 municipal schools in the four cities have received vegan meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Prosecutor Leticia Baird filed the lawsuit on the grounds of promoting sustainable and better nutritional nutrition and reducing public spending. She is vegan and activist of the cause.
The new menu sparked controversy and reports of dissatisfaction among students, parents, and school staff. According to Serrinha's secretary of education, the students rejected the new food.
Sought, prosecutor Leticia Baird declined to give an interview.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon