Bank on It: SeaShare’s Mission to Bring Seafood to Hungry Americans

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Can you imagine not being able to afford healthy food for your family? Unfortunately, this is an everyday reality for the 48 million Americans who have limited access to nutritious food. Many of these Americans rely on food banks to keep their families fed, but these services often lack the resources to access high-quality, nutrient dense seafood that promotes good health and helps reduce the risk of chronic disease. Seeing this need, the non-profit organization SeaShare has helped the seafood industry donate over 200 million servings of seafood to food banks across the United States since 1994. They have a long-standing collaboration with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. With their network Seashare is able to join forces and get donations across the nation.

The Story of SeaShare

SeaShare’s legacy began with a small group of commercial fishermen in Alaska. Instead of throwing unintentionally caught fish (known as bycatch) back into the ocean, the group made an arrangement with the government to give their catch to food banks across America.

Since then, SeaShare has expanded far beyond their original bycatch program. They now source 90% of their seafood from generous fishermen and processors like Regal Springs. These companies share the vision that food banks should be stocked with a vital complete protein source. In the past 20 years, SeaShare has provided over 200 million seafood servings to food banks across the U.S.

The Importance of Nutrient-Rich Seafood

nutrientrichtilapiafarm_1280px_086e7edcd7c04219aaa182d3a0d232a8 (1)Nutrient-rich seafood like Tilapia is high in protein, low in calories, fat and carbohydrates and is also a good source of vitamin B-12, niacin, selenium, phosphorous and magnesium. It also contains a high-quality protein, Omega-3, that includes all the amino acids essential for human health. The Omega-3 content in seafood helps prevent cardiovascular disease and inflammatory disorders as well as mental and emotional issues. Seafood consumption is also an important contributor to the health of mothers and babies, to eye health and to preventing memory loss.

However, Americans who struggle with food insecurity often have a hard time accessing healthy seafood, even if they use a food bank. Of the four billion pounds of food distributed through the Feeding America network, less than 2% is nutrient-dense animal-based protein, and seafood makes up only a tiny fraction of that percentage. As Jim Harmon, Executive Director of SeaShare, states, “Despite the incredible resources and opportunities that exist in America, hunger continues to grow.”

While the health benefits that seafood provides are important for everyone, it’s especially crucial for those who don’t have the same access to other healthy foods as most Americans do. Healthy seafood can help make up for the lack of nutrients that 79% of food-insecure households face as a result of purchasing cheap, low quality foods.

How You Can Help

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Throughout the month of June, SeaShare is partnering with Regal Springs in their mission to bring healthy seafood to food banks across the country. All you have to do is follow Regal Springs on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. For every new follower, the company will donate 10 servings of seafood to SeaShare. Regal Springs plans to donate a whopping total of 56,000 servings of nutrient-rich seafood to food banks in the U.S, so help them help others by following Regal Springs online. It’s an easy way to give back and share healthy fish with those who are less fortunate.

For Harmon, initiatives like these are not just charity, but a necessity. “Our seafood industry has the resources, the expertise and generosity to make significant contributions to fill the hunger needs of many Americans,” he says. “Whether you have seafood, services, or financial support to offer, everyone has something to give. Together, we serve more seafood to more people.”

SeaShare’s goal isn’t just to feed people—it’s to feed people the high-quality food we all deserve. By partnering with SeaShare, Regal Springs is helping provide healthy seafood to thousands of families in need across America, and you can do your part with just a couple of clicks.
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Photos: MauMar70 / Shutterstock.com, SeaShare, Regal Springs/ Twin Design / Shutterstock.com