Innovative Health Solutions Leads Coalition to Help Bay Area Fishing Industry While Feeding Families in Need

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20,000 Pounds of Locally-Caught Fish to be Distributed to Bay Area Families during February and March

This initiative is helping local fishermen, our region’s economy, and Bay Area families in need of healthy food.

Innovative Health Solutions, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with community partners and other organizations to improve health and wellness for Bay Area families, today announced an initiative to assist the hard-hit local fishing industry and to address hunger by providing 20,000 pounds of local fish to families in need.

Innovative Health Solutions is collaborating with the Marin Food Policy Council and the Food Agriculture Nutrition Network of Solano to support the Bay Area’s fishing industry and the increasing number of families in need driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. With financial support from Catch Together and a grant from the Marin Community Foundation Buck Family Fund, more 30 local non-profits including food banks, community organizations, and local non-profit organizations will distribute 20,000 pounds of local fish to Bay Area families in need during February and March. The coalition is purchasing fish from Real Good Fish and Anna's Seafood along with local fisherman from Bolinas.

“One out of every five people living in Solano and Marin counties don’t have enough to eat, and when shopping on a budget, finding healthy food options can be challenging,” said Reba Meigs, CEO of Innovative Health Solutions. “In addition, the local commercial fishing industry has experienced a drastic decrease in business due to the pandemic-mandated closure of restaurants throughout the Bay Area. IHS and our partners saw an opportunity to work with local fishermen in a way that was positive for their business and beneficial for the community. This initiative is helping local fishermen, our region’s economy, and Bay Area families in need of healthy food.”

“The Food Bank is grateful for the support of Innovative Health Solutions as high quality, nutritious, protein items, like locally-caught fish, are very desirable in the communities that we serve,” said Barbara Abbott, Vice President of Supply Chain, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “The pandemic wreaked havoc on the food supply chain just as twice as many people started turning to us for support, making the support of partners and food donors more critical than ever.”

"The domestic seafood market changed dramatically during the pandemic as markets shut down, essentially overnight,” said Jenn Lovewell, Chief Nutrition Officer at Real Good Fish. “Thanks to Innovative Health Solutions and their network of local food banks, we're able to keep fishermen on the water and their catch is ending up on the tables of those in need. This effort is significant, with a lot of fishermen who are ready, willing, and able to catch a premium product and provide that to our communities. We hope this is just the beginning of connecting these important pieces in the local food system."

Innovative Health Solutions is seeking additional funding to expand the program and to help mitigate the nutritional, economic, and social impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having on Bay Area communities.

About Innovative Health Solutions
Innovative Health Solutions (IHS) is a non-profit organization that improves the health and wellness for thousands of families in underserved and vulnerable communities throughout the Bay Area. The organization delivers equitable and sustainable outcomes through partnership development, coalition building, fund and grant management, research, trainings and technical assistance, and evaluation. For more information, visit http://www.innovativehealths.com.

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Matthew Meigs
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