The three schools in the town of Dillingham, AK, will get 4,000 pounds of wild-caught salmon fillets worth about $15,000 in the coming year, courtesy of local fishermen. The schools sit near the world's most productive sockeye salmon fishery but ordinarily can't afford to serve the locally caught salmon for lunch.
When Foodservice Manager Patty Luckhurst publicly voiced that irony at a state Board of Fisheries meeting this past winter, a group of local fishing representatives offered to help. Norman Van Vactor, who runs the local Peter Pan Seafoods processing plant, organized a fish-for-theschool day near the end of the salmon season.
That resulted in an 8,000lb. haul the Peter Pan plant will process into about 4,000 pounds of fillets the district will use to make dishes like salmon tacos, salmon enchiladas and baked salmon. The school had been using farmed trout for its fish-based dishes, which it will now discontinue at a savings of around $12,000.