Top photo: Alaska seafood being loaded up for delivery to Southeast Alaska communities, which are also struggling with low salmon returns. Photo via Sealaska.
We’re celebrating National Seafood Month with stories of fishermen, chefs, processors and purveyors providing free, wild-caught seafood to families and communities hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Seafood programs lending a helping hand are happening across the country, and during the month of October we are highlighting a few of these efforts.
Celebrate National Seafood Month: The Wave Foundation Food Program
The Wave Foundation Food Program increases local food recovery, gets people back to work, feeds the food insecure, and shifts to a more resilient community food system. This program helped mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 for commercial fishermen by creating new markets for them and ensuring they got a fair price for their catch. The program is inclusive of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and women-owned businesses, giving preference to sourcing from these providers and providing healthy and sustainable food to these communities.
Working with Alaskans Own, a joint program of Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust and Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, this food program has provided wild-caught, Alaskan seafood from small-boat, independent fishermen to communities in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Recent events include providing hot meals and fresh seafood to Indigenous communities and military families. Catch Together and the Alaska Community Foundation provided funding for these projects.
“Good nutrition is critical for the well-being of our military members, especially during the long, cold winter months. The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska is thankful for this new partnership with Alaska’s fishermen and thrilled to provide our military members with the opportunity to fill their freezers with nutritious, sustainably caught, Alaska seafood,” said Sarah Riffer, executive director of the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska, which serves active duty military throughout Alaska.
In addition, The Wave Foundation Food Program has provided frozen fish to evacuation centers for those that were displaced by the wildfires burning in the West and has plans to deploy food trucks to communities affected by the wildfires in the near future.
Follow The Wave Foundation Food Program:
- Fishermen Are Putting Food on the Table for Those in Need. “From the Waterfront” blog, Marine Fish Conservation Network
- SE Alaska Fishermen Donate Fish for Oregon Food Relief. The Cordova Times
- The Wave Food Program Delivers Economic and Food Relief to Communities Impacted by COVID-19. Anchorage Press
- Alaska fishermen, Oregon foundation help feed military families. The Cordova Times
- In a down market, Alaska fishermen avert disaster by feeding families in need. KCAW Radio
- Alaska fishermen and Pacific Northwest Foundation help Alaska military members fill their freezers with Alaska seafood. Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman