Americans Will Soon Receive Wild American Shrimp From Food Banks Through USDA Program

October 6, 2020

2 lb. bag of peeled and deveined Gulf shrimp for the USDA program supplying food banks and drive-thru food pantries.

Several American Shrimp Processors Association/Wild American Shrimp member companies are currently packaging and shipping delicious, wild-caught Gulf and South Atlantic shrimp destined for food banks and drive-thru food pantries across America.

The shrimp are being provided through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. 

The orders are part of a $30 million purchase of wild-caught USA shrimp announced by the USDA a few months ago which helps the U.S. shrimp industry while also providing a needed protein source. for millions of people who are helped through food banks providing food for Americans to prepare and consume at home. Usage of food banks and drive through food pantries has risen sharply since the onset of the pandemic.

The USDA recently awarded contracts under the program, and the industry, including many American Shrimp Processors members, has responded quickly to fellow Americans’ needs during these hard times.

The program calls for two types of shrimp Peeled & Deveined (two sizes of P&D) and “Green Headless” (referring to shrimp with the shells and tails on but without the heads). The shrimp are being packaged in both 2 lb. bags in which the shrimp are Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) and with 5 lb blocks of frozen shrimp. So far most orders are for the 2 lb bags which are perfect for families. With IQF shrimp, a consumer can easily remove as many shrimp as they need for a meal and put the rest back in the freezer for another meal. Based on a 4 oz. serving size, a 2 lb. bag of shrimp will feed a family of four for two meals.

Dr. David Veal, Executive director of the American Shrimp Processors Association led the team that worked with the USDA and lawmakers on behalf of the industry to help bring this program to fruition. This is the first in a series of articles about fulfillment of the program by ASPA members.

Boxes shrimp being prepared for shipment to a food bank in Waterloo, Iowa.

Close up of required labeling on wild-caught Gulf Shrimp headed to a food bank in Waterloo, Iowa.