USDA buys a whopping $160M worth of local seafood
By Liza Mayer
Food banks and the seafood industry are the clear winners in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to purchase $159.4-million worth of domestic seafood in May.
The purchase marks the largest single seafood purchase in the Department’s history, according to the agency. The record purchase is in response to disruptions in the food system supply chain and the heightened food insecurity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Under a domestic food procurement program policy, USDA has the authority to support prices of commodities in surplus by purchasing them in the marketplace, and distributing them domestically.
The National Fish Institute (NFI) applauded the move. “The seafood community and the 1.7 million Americans jobs along its value chain, has been hit hard by the pandemic from the men and women who work the water to processors, distributors and retailers and restaurants that offer seafood. Most of the links in that vital chain are small businesses that have struggled to survive. Help, like this, will greatly benefit recovery and help get Americans back to work,” said John Connelly NFI president.