South Carolina Aquarium projected to provide more than 5,000 seafood meals to locals experiencing food insecurity

A view of South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A. from the water.

The South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A., recently launched the Good Catch Seafood Connection program, donating local, sustainably caught seafood to community residents experiencing food insecurity. 

To gather enough supplies necessary to make the effort effective and ensure that meals reach the right hands, the aquarium organized an entire chain of local organizations that aim to ensure the fresh meals reach the right end consumers.

“One aim of Good Catch is to break down barriers of access to local and sustainable seafood, but we can’t do it alone. This collaboration provides a great solution. We are so thankful to have a cohort of community experts to help provide a lean and healthy, locally and sustainably sourced protein to our food-insecure neighbors,” South Carolina Aquarium Director of Conservation Sara McDonald said in a release. “A community-driven approach is what will make this program successful.”

The chain starts with Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina-based Cherry Point Seafood, a family-owned and -operated commercial fish house that catches the shrimp and swordfish that are pivotal ingredients in the meals. To that end, the aquarium buys 160 pounds of seafood monthly from Cherry Point.

Students at the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College then get to practice their craft by fileting, preparing, and packaging the swordfish before it moves onto the Lowcountry Food Bank, a local nonprofit that focuses on fighting hunger in Charleston.

As the final link in the swordfish chain, the food bank “distributes these meals … throughout the 10 coastal South Carolina counties [it serves],” the aquarium stated. 

“This amazing support from the aquarium enables our Zucker Family Production Kitchen to prepare thousands of nutritious meals for Lowcountry seniors who face food insecurity,” Lowcountry Food Bank CEO Nick Osborne explained in a release.

The shrimp, meanwhile, goes to One80 Place, another nonprofit that aims to prevent homelessness throughout the Charleston area, where culinary arts residents similarly prepare shrimp-based meals that also go to those who need them.

“As it begins its pilot season, Seafood Connection will collaborate with partners [who] are dedicated to harvesting local and sustainable seafood, providing meals to food-insecure neighbors, and training the next generation of the culinary workforce,” the aquarium stated.

Through the program, the aquarium and its partners aim to provide around 5,000 meals annually.

Photo courtesy of Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock 


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