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  • Writer's pictureBen Martens

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association Program Surpasses 200,000 Donated Seafood Meals

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2021 Contact: Ben Martens, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association


Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association Program Surpasses 200,000 Donated Seafood Meals

March 12, 2021 —Brunswick, Maine

This week, the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association’s (MCFA) Fishermen Feeding Mainers program surpassed 200,000 donated seafood meals to those in need. Fresh and fresh-frozen pollock, monkfish, hake, and haddock have made their way to community partners throughout the State to help feed hungry Mainers.

With the onset of COVID-19 and the economic fallout that followed, fishermen were struggling to support their businesses, families, and communities. At the same time, Maine was experiencing an unprecedented level of food insecurity. The Good Shepherd Food Bank, a crucial partner in this program, believes that in 2020, over 250,000 Mainers (roughly 18% of the population) struggled to afford food for themselves and their families.

In response to the crisis, MCFA built a new program looking to support local fishermen and the working waterfront by buying local fish, using Maine businesses to cut and package it, and then donating the product to those in need.

“We saw this program as a real win/win for Maine’s working waterfront and for our neighbors who were struggling,” said Mary Hudson, MCFA’s Director of Marine Programs. “High-quality protein is an important part of a healthy diet and we have been thrilled to partner with schools and community partners to help get local fish into these crucial programs.”

What started as a small idea has turned into an amazingly impactful program thanks to the support of over 400 individuals, foundations, nonprofits, businesses, and the State of Maine through the CARES Act. MCFA has been able to purchase roughly 145,000 pounds of local seafood, which in turn has supported over 30 seafood businesses, 90 plus fishermen and fish workers, and provided donations to more than 50 nonprofits, charities, community groups, schools, and afterschool services.

“I am proud to support this program and to help Maine fishermen and fishing businesses during this challenging time. This project pays Maine fishermen a fair and consistent price for their product at a time when markets have collapsed leaving them in a financially vulnerable position. This initiative also provides benefits to shoreside infrastructure so critical to our coastal economy. And the benefits of this program go well beyond the dock. It also provides healthy, nutritious, locally-sourced fish to our food-insecure neighbors and to Maine’s school children. This program is a great example of how Mainers come together, solve problems, and support each other in times of need.” - Governor Janet Mills

While we are optimistic about 2021, The COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting our food system in real and profound ways that will last long after the virus is behind us. Fishermen and those who are hungry in our communities will undoubtedly experience the effects of the pandemic for years to come. Therefore, MCFA is announcing the continuations of this program throughout 2021 and beyond.

“We're proud of the impact we have been able to make over such a short period of time. Behind every one of these statistics though, there is a person, a family, a business, and a community that was supported because of this effort. Unfortunately, there is still work to be done and MCFA is dedicated to being a part of building and implementing those solutions.” Said Ben Martens, MCFA’s Executive Director.

Learn more and donate at

The mission of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association is to identify and foster ways to restore the fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine’s fishing communities for future generations.

Together, we persevere.



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