We’re celebrating National Seafood Month with stories of fishermen, chefs, processors and purveyors providing 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: Fishadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
High school student fishmongers? Yes, indeed. Thanks to the innovative efforts of Talia Young, Ph.D., a community based and supported seafood program, called Fishadelphia, is bringing fresh seafood from regional harvesters and processors to diverse communities in Philadelphia.
This is not your typical community seafood program, however. In 2018, Young, who had taught high school science in South Philadelphia, teamed up with entrepreneurially minded students to help run the program as an afterschool project. The program expanded to include not only students from Mastery Charter Thomas Campus, but also students from the Mastery Charter Gratz Campus in North Philadelphia.
“It’s a super cool project,” said John Manderson, a NOAA researcher who has known Young since she was a graduate student at Rutgers University. “We talked about how cool it would be to link up school kids and New Jersey fishing communities through food with the kids running the food distribution as a business. She wrote a grant around that concept and I have been an advisor providing some connections to fishing in New Jersey and some advice since then.”
Fishadelphia is supported by the USDA Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), NJ Sea Grant, and NOAA’s Saltonstall-Kennedy Program.
As the Covid-19 pandemic upended lives, Fishadelphia innovated again. In addition to their existing creative pricing structure that works on a sliding scale, they added a fund to assist those who needed help.
“Part of the goal of Fishadelphia is to connect people who wouldn’t be connected otherwise, and to create an economically diverse community,” says Young.
If you would like to support student, customer, and harvester families impacted by COVID-19, you can donate to their Land-to-Sea Mutual Aid Fund.