The future just got a little brighter for kids in Veracruz, Mexico, where improving children’s health has become a top priority. Every Monday, schools in Mexico’s second-largest state will serve vegan meals — amounting to 925,000 each year.

The new program is the result of an agreement between Mexican government officials and Mercy For Animals’ Latin American food policy program, “Coma Consciente” (Conscious Eating). As part of this plant-based program, 20 percent of animal products served within Veracruz schools will be replaced with a vegan alternative.

Mexico has one of the world’s highest obesity rates. The country’s leading cause of death is diabetes, with meat-heavy diets posing the biggest risk factor for the disease. In other words, eating less meat could save children’s lives.

With  the Coma Consciente program, Mexico has joined multiple other countries in the “Meatless Monday” movement, including Brazil, the United States, China, and parts of Europe.

As part of Coma Consciente, public schools in Veracruz have access to a free, custom-made recipe guide featuring regional ingredients, along with instructional videos and ongoing support. Hopefully, the decision of Veracruz and other regions to go vegan once weekly will influence other cities and states to follow suit!