More than 156,000 cases of canned wild Alaska pink salmon worth $5.3 million have been purchased by the government for use in child nutrition and other related domestic food assistance programs for fiscal year 2016.
The purchase, announced in mid-November by the US Department of Agriculture, included winning bids of 94,240 cases from Trident Seafood’s Cordova Plant, valued at $2.9 million; 60,800 cases from Ocean Beauty Seafoods’ Excursion Inlet, west of Juneau, valued at $2.3 million; and 1,520 cases Peter Pan Seafoods’ Astoria, Oregon plant, valued at $60,967.
The purchases were the result of bids submitted in response to a USDA solicitation in late October. Deliveries are to be made from Feb. 1 through Aug.21, USDA said.
The purchases are part of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service programs, including the National School Lunch Program the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program and others.
Bruce Schactler of Kodiak, food aid program and development director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, said those purchases, which were a little above average, were a huge deal for the Alaska seafood processors, for whom the USDA has been a great customer.
USDA announced in August that federal funds would be used to purchase up to $30 million worth of surplus Alaska canned sockeye salmon for its Emergency Food Assistance Program. That product was earmarked for distribution to food banks and food pantries nationwide to provide millions of meals for hungry Americans.
USDA also buys wild Alaska pollock in a similar bid process during the summer and again in December.