The Washington Post highlighted a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which recommends that USDA develop a plan to increase seafood in school lunches. In 2020, the National School Lunch Program served almost 23 million children - or about 41 percent of all school age children. Unfortunately, seafood made up less than 2% of all animal proteins purchased from 2014-2019, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO strongly suggested that the USDA help schools put more seafood on students' lunch plates.
The GAO report was requested by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Jack Reed (D-RI), who noted that increasing seafood in school lunches is not only a healthy decision, but is also good for local economies throughout the country.
The Washington Post article highlights a new letter from Senators Baldwin, Merkley and Reed to the USDA urging implementation of the GAO's recommendations. The letter states: “During the school year, participating students receive nearly two-thirds of their daily calories from school meals… The reliance on school meals mandates that the NSLP provide healthy, well balanced meals to ensure students receive the nutrients they need for a healthy diet. However, students participating in the NSLP may be missing out on the benefits of a balanced diet that includes nutritious and high-protein seafood.”