New seafood donation inquiry form available as part of seafood donation network's efforts to meet food insecurity

    Sitka, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) and Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust (ASFT) are inviting community and tribal leaders, organizations, fishermen, and others to share via a new Seafood Donation Network Inquiry online form, whether they are struggling with access to local seafood or have seafood that they would be willing to contribute to families in need.

    Their invitation is part of ALFA and ASFT’s Seafood Donation Network, which was created in March 2020 as a program of ALFA but has since evolved into a statewide network of communities, organizations, businesses, and fishermen concerned about seafood insecurity in Alaska.  

    Thousands of Alaskans around the state are struggling to fill their freezers, smokehouses, and pantries with wild Alaska seafood. ALFA and ASFT created the Seafood Donation Network in 2020 to help address this growing need and ensure that Alaskans are able to access healthy, high-quality seafood harvested sustainably by small-boat fishermen. To date, the Seafood Donation Network Program has deployed more than $2.5 million to purchase and deliver more than 645,000 donated seafood meals to individuals and families facing food insecurity in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

    The Seafood Donation Program continues to receive requests for donated seafood around the state. As a result, ALFA and ASFT has created a Seafood Donation inquiry form for communities and organizations to complete if they are seeking seafood donations to feed individuals in their networks. In addition, another form exists for fishermen or others in the seafood industry sector to fill out if able to donate seafood to communities in need. At this time, ALFA and ASFT are only assessing community needs and are unable to commit to providing seafood donation requests due to limited funding, which is currently dependent solely on grants and individual donations. However, ALFA/ASFT will support communities/organizations that reach out if possible by helping to connect them with other potential donated seafood/funding sources.

    “While every community’s need and preferred product form varies, the form hopes to identify seafood insecurity throughout Alaska and the means to store and distribute donations. Healthy, thriving communities require equitable access to healthy, sustainable food sources. This is
    especially true for Indigenous communities, whose diets and traditions have relied on local wild seafood for generations,” notes Linda Behnken, Executive Director of ALFA.

    In November 2021, the USDA awarded ALFA a Regional Food System Partnership grant to help it develop a long-term Seafood Donation Program that is both sustainable and scalable. ALFA is working with a network of advisors from around the state on this planning process, including representatives from the Food Bank of Alaska, Alaska SeaGrant, University of Alaska Southeast, Chignik Intertribal Coalition, and local seafood suppliers, and plans to release its final planning report at the end of 2023.


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