Canned pink salmon purchased for food assistance

More than 100 cans of salmon rest on the counter at the U.S. Coast Guard housing community center on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Heidi Ritter, ombudsman for CordovaÕs USCG, and Kami Todd used up the remaining fresh and canned foods, ensuring they would not go to waste, as a "thank you" to community members and businesses who helped them and their families during the 35-day long government shutdown. They wanted to show their immense appreciation and plan on donating all unused items to the Native Village of Eyak's food pantry. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the number of cases of salmon procured for food assistance. The correct number is 442,300 cases of salmon, which were purchase at $58 per case, for a total of over $25 million. The original press release and story stated the number of cases in the millions instead of the thousands.

Millions of pounds of Alaska’s 2019 harvest of pink salmon is now earmarked for child nutrition and related domestic food assistance programs, thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture purchase of over $25 million in canned product from four processors.

USDA officials announced on Sept. 20 the purchase of 442,300 cases of one-pound tall cans of pink salmon for the federal agency’s food assistance programs, with deliveries to be made from Nov. 1 through March 31, 2020.  The agency noted that a contract for 182,400 cases of canned pinks was not awarded due to a lack of bids.

Contract awards included $11.7 million to Ocean Beauty Seafoods for 199,100 cases, $6.8 million to Peter Pan Seafoods for 115,500 million cases; $4.7 million to Icicle Seafoods for 73,000 cases, and $2.7 million to Trident Seafoods for 54,700 cases.

Recipients earmarked by USDA include programs in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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