Today Extra Table, the nonprofit established by restaurateur Robert St. John to supply Mississippi food pantries with nutritious food, announced the delivery of 36,000 meals for families in need thanks to a new partnership with shrimpers along Mississippi’s coast.
This month, Extra Table will be delivering the sustainably caught, local shrimp to several of its more than 50 partner food banks across the state including partners in Hattiesburg, Jackson, Biloxi and Gulfport. Many of these food banks report a 30-50% increase in need due to the economic hardship created by COVID-19.
"These types of community efforts have never been more important,” said Martha Allen, Executive Director of Extra Table. “Hunger was a critical issue well before the pandemic and we are grateful to be working with Mississippi shrimpers and other organizations to help our neighbors during this time of crisis.”
The shrimp were caught by members of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United which promotes fresh, wild caught fish from the Gulf and purchased with support from a grant by Catch Together, a nonprofit which raises funds to strengthen sustainable fishermen and fishing communities across the country.
“With demand from restaurants all but gone, this year has been a true challenge for our members” said Ryan Bradley, Executive Director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United. “This effort not only supports these local fishermen and their families during a difficult time, but also lets them support their fellow Mississippians with fresh, nutritious food as well.”
Altogether, Catch Together will be providing more than $5 million in grants aiding fishermen and moving fresh, local fish to nearby foodbanks across the U.S. Along with the current effort in Mississippi, Catch Together is supporting efforts in other regions including Alaska, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, and Massachusetts.
Extra Table will be distributing the 13,000 pounds of shrimp to its Mississippi partner food banks in the coming days.