Yousra H. New York

Lack of Halal food in school cafeterias

Muslim students can not access the free lunch program because of the lack of halal food.

Dear Future President,

First of all, congratulations from the bottom of my heart to you. I am very glad to have a chance to write a letter to the head of the country. Yet, I am still sad because I have to write this letter with my empty stomach. Of course, I had lunch in my school cafeteria but it was a piece of cucumber. However, beside me, my classmates were eating fried chicken. I was not able to eat the same thing because I am a Muslim. My religion doesn’t allow me to eat anything unless it's halal. Unfortunately, there is nothing halal in our school cafeteria. As a Muslim, as a student, as a resident of the U.S. I wish I could eat like my classmates. I wish you would make it compulsory to provide halal food in school cafeterias.

The Muslim population is a major group in the United States and it is one of the largest religious groups in the United States. Yet, Muslim students do not have access to halal food in the cafeteria. (Pew Research) . In one survey, 77% of the students said that there was absolutely no halal meal services available on their college campuses. ( So it is clear that although there are lot of Muslims living in the United States, they don’t have access to halal food in their schools.

Due to the lack of halal food, Muslim students can not eat properly. This can cause malnutrition and can affect students’ ability to concentrate on their studies. Malnutrition can affect the rate of normal growth and have other negative physical and mental effects ( So, for this reason, it is important to have access to food students can eat.

However, some people argue that there is no difference between halal and haram (non-Halal) food. Of course, there is a difference between how Muslims slaughter animals to consider it as halal. In Islam,when an animal is slaughtered the throat must be cut by a sharp knife, and at same time the name of Allah must be said. Still, some people say that they are against Islamic slaughter because it is not humane to animals. Actually, it's good for animals.To clarify, a professor at Hanover University, proved this by using an electrocardiogram (ECG) on the animal that showed that Islamic slaughter is the more humane method of slaughter and it’s better than the western slaughter method. He also found that western slaughter is a cause of severe pain to the animal (The modern Religion). There are also some people that argue that it’s not the government’s responsibility to provide halal food. However, in the United States of America all people have freedom of religion. In the Bill of Rights it says people have right to have freedom of religion. Eating halal food is a Muslim’s right. So, having no halal food violates freedom of religion.

As we all know today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. So, I am respectfully asking that you require at least one halal item in school cafeterias. It would help them to be healthy and hard working students, and also it would help Muslim students feel part of the community in the United States.