Why should my company donate seafood to SeaShare?
Here are the top 5 reasons your company should donate to SeaShare:
1. It's free.
2. It's safe. Your donations are fully protected from legal liability under the "Good Samaritan Act".
3. It's sustainable. Donating is environmentally friendly, and cuts down on waste/disposal costs.
4. It's tax deductible. You will receive a donation receipt from SeaShare and can write off up to 2x the cost of your donated product.
5. It makes a difference! Your contribution helps people in need while enhancing your company's public profile as a socially responsible corporation.
Where does the food go?
SeaShare serves the Feeding America network of food banks, food pantries, and feeding centers in all 50 states. We get your donation to hungry Americans quickly and efficiently.
Can I get a tax deduction from my corporate donation?
Yes. Current law allows you to write off up to 2x the cost of your product. The recently extended PATH Act makes the act of donating even more beneficial for your business. Click here for more information about the PATH Act, and here for an easy to use tax benefit calculator.
Could I have any liability?
No. The Federal "Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act" gives food donors protection against liability.
What do the new USDA / HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans say about eating seafood?
The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in January 2016, recommend a shift toward healthy eating patterns, which include a variety of protein foods including more seafood. The general population should eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week with the aim to take in at least 250 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week for omega-3 fatty acid DHA to improve infant health outcomes. For more information, check out www.seafoodnutrition.org.
How can I cancel or modify my monthly donation?
You can call or email us with regarding your subscription and we would be happy manage that for you. Call us at 206.842.3609 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are SeaShare's comments on EPA and FDA advice about eating fish?
SeaShare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1994, with a unique hunger-fighting mission. We use seafood donations to improve nutrition for the people served by food banks and feeding centers. Over the past two decades SeaShare has provided 200 million healthy seafood servings to hungry men, women and children across the country.
SeaShare products are distributed exclusively through Feeding America’s national network of food banks. And SeaShare is the only charitable organization focused exclusively on seafood as a source of nutrition for hunger-relief. Our donation model leverages the help of fishermen, processors, service providers, and financial donors who all recognize the essential role seafood can play in a healthy diet.
From our business standpoint, having plenty of customers is a bad thing. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of families who rely on food bank assistance. To help lay a nutritional cornerstone the Food and Drug Administration must work towards clear, actionable seafood consumption advice for pregnant women and young children that takes into account the realities of price, availability and taste.
Protein is a difficult and expensive item for food banks to access. In fact, our partners regularly tell us it’s the hardest item to stock and is routinely the first thing they run out of. And as food prices continue to edge up that trend affects the quality of food available for donation. While overall food prices rose by about 3-percent in 2014, the price of protein, like seafood, rose by more than 7-percent. Food banks desperately need our seafood donors to supplement their nutritional offerings and change eating habits over the long term.
The importance of accurate and specific recommendations for communicating the final seafood advice is of great importance to us. As a group on the front lines of not only fighting hunger, but advocating for better nutrition, we have concerns that underserved and disadvantaged populations who rely on the food banks we support could be unduly impacted by advice that is overly nuanced.
The equation is not a difficult one; in order to have healthy communities you must have a healthy diet. In order to promote a healthy diet those communities must have access to healthy food, as well as access to accurate information that promotes the right choices. SeaShare is dedicated to making those building blocks of good nutrition available to underserved communities.
Under privileged communities already run a greater risk from things like violence, drug abuse, and incarceration but the impact of the nutritional deficit they face can be equally devastating. Cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes all flourish where accessibility to healthy food and accurate information about nutrition are missing.
SeaShare is blessed with generous partners that provide everything from Alaska Pollock and salmon to perch and sardines. The ocean’s nutritional bounty makes any variety of seafood an important addition to a food bank and ultimately to an American family’s plate.
But you need look no further than the latest consumer pricing data to see the challenges associated with both making healthy seafood choices available to communities and getting them to integrate those choices.
Recent Nielsen research looked at three major drivers when it comes to consumer seafood choices: cost, availability and taste.
To be blunt, it is of no value for the FDA and EPA to provide seafood recommendations that are out of a community’s price range. It is of no value to provide seafood recommendations that are not locally available. And it is of no value to provide seafood recommendations that are not in keeping with established American tastes. Recent, public discussions at the Risk Communications Advisory Committee meeting included consideration of recommendations that pointed to expensive, exotic and from a financial and or practical perspective unavailable species like mackerel, sardines, squid, oysters and even cuttlefish.
The average cost of an accessible and available seafood product like canned tuna, light and white, is $4.06 per pound and can be found in more than 99% of retail food stores. Another canned fish found in more than 96% of retail food stores is anchovies. But the average cost is $15.07 per pound. Anchovies are a great meal, healthy and delicious, but they are not in a price range that underserved populations can afford.
Fresh salmon, also found in 96% of stores, has an average price of $7.24 per pound. Because of generous contributions SeaShare is able to provide salmon to many of our food bank partners. But at retail it too is way out of the price range for most of the families we serve. The divorced mother of two in Chicago who leans on the food bank for help when she needs it, simply isn’t able to put that on her menu.
Trout, another nutrition staple, comes in at $13.32 per pound. Not something our families could afford on their own.
With Trout in mind, let’s talk about availability, it’s only found in 27% of stores. Mussels are relatively affordable at $2.60 per pound but they can only be found in 54% of stores.
And then there’s taste. While the power of the federal government is both impressive and appreciated – I respectfully suggest policy is not an effective vehicle for changing American taste buds. Case-in-point; some consumers like Herring. It’s loaded with vitamin D and B-12. But, per capita, Americans eat .0009 ounces of Herring per week. To get pregnant women to eat just 1 ounce of Herring per week, when the minimum suggested seafood intake is 8 ounces, we would have to increase Herring consumption 200 times its current rate.
These data points are just a few illustrations of the unique challenges seafood already faces in the market place. Basic, accurate communication about its healthful qualities will help alleviate a current barrier.
The importance and the power of analytical data can be appreciated on its own. But it’s what’s behind numbers like 200 million seafood servings donated, that really matters, is people. From a hunger standpoint there are communities in every state that are in desperate need of food. From a nutritional standpoint there are communities in every state that are in desperate need of things like lean protein and omega-three’s. Often the only fish they have access to comes from a food bank or from a can. Unsupported limits on things like canned tuna threaten to literally remove the only seafood offering some populations have access to when the demonstrable, science-based assignment before FDA and EPA is to increase seafood consumption among pregnant women.
It’s important to keep in mind that these numbers are not just statistics but people. Consider the difficulty of convincing those people that changing their diet and incorporating more healthy seafood can have a transformative effect on their families.
SeaShare is working hard to overcome the hurdles of accessibility. Perishability, availability and cost are clear barriers to seafood consumption for our families. To add inappropriately cautionary and or confusing advice to that list would make our work even harder. Advice that fails to accurately encourage the populations we support to increase their seafood intake, where available, threatens to have a disproportionately negative impact.
FDA research shows pregnant women already do not eat enough seafood. Underprivileged populations eat even less. Keeping these groups in mind while editing this advice is of paramount importance to SeaShare. Confusing and unsupported warnings can have real and unintended nutritional consequences for populations that can least afford it.
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