Louisiana lawmakers pass bill banning seafood sourced outside U.S. in school meals

The bill now heads to Governor Jeff Landry’s desk.
Students receive food in the cafeteria.
H.B. 429 would ban the use of foreign seafood in Louisiana school meals . | Photo: Shutterstock

A Louisiana bill that would place new restrictions on seafood served in school meals is headed to Governor Jeff Landry’s desk.

H.B. 429 would ban the use of seafood in school meals that was sourced outside of the United States.

Lawmakers in the state aren’t the only ones pushing for more U.S. products in school meals.

Last year, Florida lawmakers passed H.B. 1279 which requires school food operators to prioritize commodities grown or processed locally whenever it is available, practical and feasible. Other states, like Utah, also offer extra reimbursement to school nutrition programs who incorporate local ingredients into their menus to incentivize them into doing so.

At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a grant program this year intended to help support projects centered around strengthening the school food supply chain and bringing more local products to school meals. The first round of recipients for the program have just been announced.

The USDA has also included a buy local component in its recent updates to the School Nutrition Standards, which dictate what schools can and cannot serve under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and other USDA child nutrition programs. Beginning in fall 2025, schools will have limits on the amount of non-domestic grown and produced foods they can purchase.

In addition, School nutrition operators will have the option to require unprocessed agricultural products to be locally grown, raised or caught when purchasing those items for their programs.



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