December 27, 2021
US Department of Agriculture to purchase $ 25 million worth of Atlantic groundfish products for distribution to food banks and other community aid, another round of purchases for the seafood industry from the Northeast that had historically been excluded from the USDA’s Section 32 nutrition program.
The federal government’s response to covid-19 in 2020 included large purchases of seafood by the USDA like Alaska pollock, and New England lawmakers have pressed the same with their fleets harshly. affected. The agency announced another $ 25 million round for the Northeast by funding on December 22.
“We are delighted that the USDA continues to support the Atlantic seafood industry, as we have urged it to do, after our contributions have been overlooked in federal purchases for too long,” said Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Representatives William Keating and Seth Moulton said in a joint statement.
âThe continuing effects of the pandemic justify continued partnerships with the fishing communities that are cornerstones of our culture and economy in Massachusetts, as well as with the pantries that nourish our communities. “
The Massachusetts delegation lobbied to include Northeastern seafood in nutritional assistance as part of the $ 9.5 billion Congress has allocated under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Assistance, Relief , and Economic Security) for agricultural producers. As of May 2020, the USDA plan called for $ 20 million in haddock, pollock and Atlantic rockfish for new section 32 food purchases.