With the delta variant spreading across the country, food bank traffic still continues at record high levels. This time last year much of the seafood destined for the foodservice market was re-routed into retail and food bank channels instead. Restaurant openings this year provided much relief to both suppliers and consumers, however the volume of protein to food banks has dwindled.
Aside from restaurants opening, other issues have converged to tighten the seafood supply to food banks: processors continue to struggle with COVID-19 quarantines and labor shortages and imports have been delayed at ports around the country. The USDA has increased orders of seafood species such as pollock, salmon, and catfish that are popular in food banks, and while that supply is destined for schools and the food bank system, not all of those orders can be fulfilled.
The tight supply market puts further pressure on SeaShare to find donations to food banks across the country. We’ve distributed a little over 1 million pounds of seafood — or 4 million seafood servings — the first half of this year, and the demand continues. In case you missed last month’s news, we coordinated the delivery of 25,000 pounds of king salmon to the Yukon. Part II of the effort continues this month, with another 24,000 pounds of fish going to villages on the Yukon that otherwise won’t have salmon for the winter.
Here's how YOU can help ease the supply problem:
- Connect us ASAP with suppliers that may have product for food banks.
- Save the WEEK!: Set aside 5 minutes during the week of Sept. 27 for SeaShare’s “Week of Seafood Giving”. Donate once. Donate twice. Donate every day to get seafood into food banks and feeding centers!
We look forward to seeing how you can help feed those in need a healthful seafood meal.