USDA seeks bids on 340,000 pounds of catfish

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking for bids on a contract to supply 340,000 pounds of catfish fillets.

The frozen, raw, unbreaded catfish fillets will be used for the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs. 

The agency is seeking bids by midnight on 10 November, and it will announce the winning bidders by midnight on 20 November. Suppliers must make deliveries between January and June 2020.

The USDA has already purchased millions of pounds catfish, Alaska pollock, wild salmon, wild shrimp, and other seafood this year, in part to alleviate hunger issues associated with the COVID-19 crisis.

In June, the agency said it planned to purchase a large quantity of frozen catfish – 720,000 pounds of breaded catfish strips – via its Section 32 program to be used in the National School Lunch Program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

In late September, the agency awarded contracts for around 217,000 cases of frozen wild shrimp worth USD 25.14 million (EUR 21.6 million) as part of it Section 32 purchasing program for federal food and nutrition programs.

By August,  the USDA contracted around 10.7 million pounds of wild Alaska pollock worth USD 22.65 million (EUR 19.6 million), according to the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) organization.

In fact, the agency made its third-highest purchases of Alaska pollock in 2020 – behind 2019 and 2017 – GAPP CEO Craig Morris told SeafoodSource.

"It is wonderful to see USDA continuing to purchase at these volumes such a sustainable and healthy protein, wild Alaska pollock, caught in U.S. waters by U.S. fishermen, for some of our great nation's most vulnerable populations – including our children served by the National School Lunch Program and those in need depending on food banks to help them feed their families during this unprecedented time,” Morris said.

Photo courtesy of Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock


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