BC Salmon Farmers Association donates 120,000 cans of fish to national food bank

The BC Salmon Farmers Association has launched a national salmon donation initiative with Food Banks Canada aimed at feeding families struggling with the COVID pandemic and economic downturn, officials said.

The campaign includes a 60,000-pound donation of fresh Atlantic salmon by Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC combined to Food Banks Canada’s national hamper distribution initiative in Toronto. The salmon was donated in the form of 120,000 cans, officials said, and will be distributed from Toronto to the rest of the country.

When combined with earlier donations made by B.C.’s salmon farmers, the total amounts to the equivalent of more than 500,000 meals for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s announcement accounts for about 272,000 meals, officials said.

“We know how hard people have been hit during this pandemic, so getting healthy, canned salmon to homes across the country is one thing we can do as salmon farmers to help,” said Grieg Seafood BC managing director Rocky Boschman in a statement.

BC Salmon Farmers Association officials also noted that canned salmon is not a product typically produced by local producers, so the donation – canned by St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse in Nanaimo and transported in part by Aquatrans Distributors Inc. and Seaspan Ferries Corp. - is a “tailor-made product” specifically for Canadian food banks.

Previously, BC salmon farmers distributed – with the help of Food Banks BC – 86,000 cans of salmon within the province (62,000 cans from Cermaq and 24,000 from Grieg) in April.