SNP Statement on Seafood in Schools GAO Report

Today, the US Government Accountability Office released a report, GAO-23-105179, “National School Lunch Program: USDA Could Enhance Assistance to States and Schools in Providing Seafood to Students.”

Seafood Nutrition Partnership President Linda Cornish was interviewed by the GAO as part of the audit for this report on the National School Lunch Program. 

Report Findings:

Seafood in Schools GAO Report Map Graphic

Seafood in Schools protein comparison chart from GAO report

Seafood Nutrition Partnership Statements:

  • We applaud Senators Baldwin, Merkley, and Reed for requesting this review and shedding light on the extreme and unfathomable disparity between the amount of seafood that students should be consuming per the USDA Dietary Guidelines and the actual amount of seafood provided in school meals. 
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program provides healthy meals to millions of kids from low-income households. 
  • We as a nation should be shocked and alarmed by the huge disparity between our nation’s nutrition guidelines and policies and how it is actually implemented in our national school nutrition programs. 
  • What we eat matters for our health and the health of our students. All school foodservice decision makers and providers should read this report carefully and with urgency. 
  • Seafood Nutrition Partnership and our partners are eager to work with the USDA and NOAA to develop actionable plans as recommended by the US GAO report GAO-23-105179 on the National School Lunch Program.
  • Education and outreach to schools and parents to address barriers to seafood in schools should include:
    • Latest science on the safety and essential health benefits of seafood
    • How to purchase within school lunch program budgets and share successful examples from school districts around the country
    • How to train team members to prepare seafood with existing kitchen equipment 

Seafood’s Health Benefits for Growing Students:

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