The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it will purchase up to $159.4 million in domestically produced fruits, legumes, nuts, and seafood for distribution to food assistance programs in the United States, including those run by charitable institutions. The agency’s announcement indicated that the USDA would purchase up to $70.9 million in domestically produced seafood, including $25 million for wild-caught shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, $4 million for Pacific Pink Shrimp, $20 million for Alaska Pollock, $9 million for Pacific Whiting fillets, $8.9 million for Sockeye (Red) Salmon, and $4 million for Pacific Rockfish fillets. The agency explained that this would be “the largest purchase of U.S. raised seafood by the USDA to date.”
The USDA reports that solicitations for these purchases are likely to be issued in mid-June, with bid awards being granted at the end of June. Deliveries of these products to food assistance programs is targeted for mid-August.
“The Southern Shrimp Alliance is thrilled to see the USDA’s inclusion of wild-caught shrimp in the agency’s efforts to support much-needed food assistance programs,” said John Williams, the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “For many throughout the country, food assistance programs are an essential lifeline for families struggling to deal with the economic consequences of this pandemic. We are grateful to the USDA for providing assistance to our fellow Americans in need while simultaneously addressing the impact that COVID-19 has had on the domestic shrimp industry.”
Read the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s May 13, 2021 announcement here: https://www.ams.usda.gov/press-release/usda-purchase-1594-million-nutritious-consumer-ready-seafood-and-more-food-assistance