Innovative nonprofits rally fishermen, needy food banks – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-06-23 13:44:42 –

Pass Christian, Miss — Fresh catch lands on a clear early morning.

“We deal with crabs, oysters, shrimp and fish,” said Jeremy Forte. Forte seafood..

Forte couldn’t be busy as the new shrimp season had just begun along the Mississippi coast.

“It’s always you guessing, it’s for sure,” he said.

But this was not always the case during the pandemic. When the restaurant closed, it triggered a chain reaction affecting fishermen across the country.

“We rely heavily on restaurant sales,” said Ryan Bradley. Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United.. “And, indeed, when we saw these massive closures of the restaurant, it caused a lot of uncertainty, a lot of disruption to the supply chain.”

At the same time, down the coastal road from the harbor, the financial burden of COVID-19 involved soup kitchens and food distribution stations.

Martha Allen of the food bank said: Additional table.. “Many people were the first patrons of food pantry and soup kitchens.”

At that time, the harbor encountered a soup kitchen collected by the non-profit Catch Together.

“We have noticed that the crisis of food insecurity is not only exacerbated by the number of people they need to serve, but also many of their traditional proteins due to the closure of restaurants and restaurants. The sources were depleted, and many supermarkets were just sold out, “said founder Paul Parker.

Through the grant, Catch Together funded food pantry and soup kitchens to buy fresh local seafood from coastal fishermen across the country. This helped fishermen continue to work and feed those in need, from Maine to Massachusetts, Florida, Mississippi, Alaska, and beyond. Catch Together is currently aiming to expand its program by seeking additional funding from state agencies and the USDA.

“It really gave fishermen the opportunity to participate in solving the problem and worked together to solve the problem. It was really bigger than anyone else,” Parker said.

Extra Table has earned $ 30,000 to help bring fresh seafood to local food banks and soups.

“It’s literally a beautiful partnership across the country,” Allen said. “If we hadn’t caught them together, we wouldn’t have been able to put them together.”

Upon returning to the harbor, catches continue to grow and Jeremy Forte and other fishermen are happy to help.

“I will do whatever I can to help the community,” Forte said.

When it came to catch-to-gather help, it was a two-way path.

“There was a really big boost,” Bradley said. “It was a really mutually beneficial opportunity.”

It is an opportunity created both on land and in the sea.

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