Alaska Seafood is available through the following USDA partner programs:
USDA FOOD & NUTRITION SERVICE (FNS) | SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) | SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS & CHILDREN (WIC) | NATIONAL SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAM | AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (AMS) | THE EMERGENCY FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TEPAP) | FEEDING AMERICA
USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and school meals. In partnership with state and tribal governments, programs serve one in four Americans during the course of a year. Working with our public, private and non-profit partners, our mission is to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. We are committed to ensuring access to healthy and safe food for those participating in our programs including expecting mothers; infants and children in child care and school; low-income families going to food banks; local farmers markets; and local supermarkets. We are increasing access to nutritious and safe food for eligible people by:
- Helping to reduce the number of households with children that experience low food security
- Partnering with schools to implement national standards designed to improve the quality of food served and sold in schools
- Promoting healthful diets and active lifestyles among those participating in our program
- Reducing improper payments in the largest nutrition assistance program, SNAP.
Learn more about the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) program.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has a predicted monthly participation of 45.7 million people for a budget of $83.7 billion. It is a program designed to help low-income residents and families buy the food they need for good health. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and accepted at most grocery stores and some farmers’ markets. SNAP benefits can buy a variety of food items including: breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, dairy products and seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat. Alaska Global Food Aid program works to make sure that SNAP clientele choose Alaska Seafood products.
Learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has a 2016 budget of $6.6 billion and serves more than 8.5 million people. The main mission of the program serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care. The foods provided through the WIC program are designed to supplement participants’ diets with specific nutrients. WIC-authorized foods include infant cereal, baby foods, iron-fortified adult cereal, fruits and vegetables, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, soy-based beverages, tofu, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, canned fish, whole wheat bread and other whole-grain options.
The WIC-eligible canned fish includes: canned salmon, canned mackerel, canned sardines, and canned light tuna. Currently, canned fish is only available to participating mothers who are breastfeeding. As part of the USDA’s process to update the WIC food baskets, ASMI recommends that WIC add canned salmon and other fish to ALL the WIC food baskets so every participating pregnant women, mother and child under five can benefit from the vital nutrients in oily fish.
Learn more about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
National School Meals Program
The National School Meals Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 100,000 public and non‐profit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provided nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free breakfasts and lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2012. School lunches must meet meal pattern and nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While school lunches must meet federal meal requirements, decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.
The program is an excellent way to introduce the taste of seafood to children and educate them about the nutritional benefits of consuming seafood. 92% of elementary students and 76% of secondary students say they want Alaska fish tacos on their school lunch menu sites. Due to popular demand the USDA is now including once frozen Alaska pollock products in the school lunch programs. The program has ripple effects as it touches nearly all school children, whether they directly receive school lunch or shares a lunch table with a child that does. It is also important to consider the multiplier effect on the parent and caregivers who are affected indirectly by the program. In fact, some schools have taken it upon themselves to offer local fish like in Sitka, Alaska (pdf).
Learn more about the National School Meals Program.
Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS)
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers programs that create domestic and international marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS also provides the agriculture industry with valuable services to ensure the quality and availability of wholesome food for consumers across the country. Much of the agency’s support for agriculture is provided through commodity-specific efforts, such as its Dairy; Specialty Crops; Livestock, Poultry and Seed; and Cotton and Tobacco Programs.
AMS purchases a variety of 100% domestically produced and processed commodity food products for all the USDA food and nutrition programs. These purchases support American agriculture by providing an outlet for surplus products and encouraging consumption of domestically-produced foods. The wholesome, high-quality products purchased by USDA—collectively called USDA Foods—are delivered to schools, food banks and households in communities across the country, and are a vital component of our nation’s food safety net. AMS issues solicitations and makes purchases for over 200 different USDA Foods on an ongoing basis including Alaska canned salmon and Alaska pollock.
Learn more about the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. It provides food and administrative funds to states to supplement the diets of these groups through food banks, pantries and other local projects.
Learn more about The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Feeding America, a network of food banks, is our biggest partner. With nearly 47 million people living poverty in the U.S., the highest number recorded in 52 years, food banks and other safety net programs are essential to fill the hunger gap. Food banks seek to provide a balanced food basket to their recipients, yet shelf stable protein is often lacking. Canned salmon and herring are the healthy protein choice for food bank clientele, many of whom have or are at risk of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension as well as chronic diseases.
The Alaska Global Food Aid Program is proud to be able to help America’s food banks and pantries feed so many people through its partnership with Alaska fishermen, women and the seafood industry. This year Alaska provided 40 million servings of Alaska canned salmon and a cookbook to go with the canned salmon, with recipes specially designed for the food bank clientele and featuring affordable ingredients that can be found in any food bank or grocery store in the US.
Feeding America serves 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Through 58,000 pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs, the Feeding America network reaches people in need in every community across the US.
Learn more about Feeding America.