The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase $20 million in canned Alaska pink salmon for nationwide distribution to hungry Americans, with a suggestion from Sen. Lisa Murkowski playing a part in the decision. That’s more than 60 million meals!
The fish come from last falls largest catch of salmon in state history.
According to a 18 Jan. 2014 statement from Murkowski’s office, the purchase follows $126 million in produce acquired last week by USDA’s The Emergency Food Action Program.
The Alaska Republican was the lead GOP signer of a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack from a bipartisan group of more than 20 senators recommending that purchase, in light of food banks’ increased need across the country.
“Every Alaskan knows that our salmon is brain food and full of protein, so I suggested the Department of Agriculture consider our nutritious and delicious salmon for food banks nationwide experiencing high levels of need,” Murkowski said in the statement.
Murkowski spokesperson Matthew Felling says the money for the salmon is drawn from existing USDA funds. He says the senator’s pitch for the program to buy fish was a natural offshoot of the produce purchase. “We had them on the phone last week and we’re like, ‘We have a big surplus of pink salmon up here in Alaska,’” Felling said.
Bruce Schactler, of Kodiak, who coordinates the food aid program for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Association, said the timing of the USDA’s announcement in mid-January could not have come at a better time for the industry and its recipient consumers. The purchase of some of this incredible bounty of salmon will help to stabilize the market and the price structure that producers and the coastal communities of Alaska depend on, said Schactler, and supply more than 60 million meals to families in need. http://fnonlinenews.blogspot.ca/2014/01/usda-will-make-20-million-purchase-of.html
Even more of the bounty of ocean pasture fed salmon will enter global food aid programs in the coming months. Alaska proudly helps international food aid programs as can be seen on this descriptive page. Warning the pictures on this page of children receiving this nutritious salmon will bring a happy tear to your eye. http://www.alaskaseafood.org/global/foodaid/
Canned Salmon is ideal for food aid purposes. It provides concentrated protein and energy for recipients of all ages in all types of food aid projects such as school feeding, disaster relief, food-for-work and maternal/child health projects.
Alaska canned salmon has been a part of a variety of food aid projects targeting schoolchildren, disaster relief, food-for-work and maternal/child health. Since 2008, Alaska Salmon is being used by the World Food Program in Laos, Food for the Poor (FFTP) in Jamaica and the Salesian Missions in Cambodia. Past programs and pilot projects have taken place in Bolivia, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau and Swaziland.
A few of the many benefits Alaska Canned Salmon in World Food Aid Programs offer:
- Alaska Canned Salmon is highly nutritious
- It is suitable for people of all ages
- It is therapeutic and good for people living with HIV/AIDS
- It is easy to handle and has a long shelf life
Alaska Canned Salmon is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-administered Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Child Nutrition Programs and the U.S. Agency for International Development-managed PL480 Title II Program
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