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Assemblyman Launches New Push For Kosher, Halal Meals In NYC Schools

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Queens state assemblyman has made a new push to require kosher and halal meals in New York City schools.

As WCBS 880's Ethan Harp reported Sunday, free lunches are now the rules at city public schools. But State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) noted that nearly four out of 10 public school students are either Jewish or Muslim – and he believes a void is being left when it comes to serving them.

"No student should choose between being hungry and observing their religious observance," Weprin said.

Weprin has proposed a bill that would provide kosher and halal meals and expand the vegetarian choices for Hindu students.

Weprin said it does not cross the line between religion and state.

"(It is) similar to what's presently being done in prisons as well as senior centers," he said.

The bill's backers include Nazeem Shake, who is Muslim and sends halal food with his son to school in Rego Park. But the food is cold by lunchtime and he ends up not eating it all.

State lawmakers also pushed a bill calling for kosher and halal lunches in schools last year.

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