WELLFLEET — In response to the coronavirus health crisis, non-profit organization Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT, aka the producer of the annual Wellfleet OysterFest) has developed a Community Food Share Program to support Wellfleet’s shellfish harvesters as well as families in need.
Wellfleet’s shellfishing industry is seeing a catastrophic drop in shellfish sales due to the closing of retail locations and restaurants regionally and nationally, affecting income.
Here’s how the program works: SPAT will purchase freshly harvested oysters and clams from Wellfleet’s Shellfishermen and women. The harvesters will take their product to a shellfish distribution facility, which will process and deliver it to community kitchens, who will then cook and serve to the public free of charge.
“This program will provide hot meals for those in need while financially supporting our shellfish harvesters at this critical time. At the same time, it keeps the supply chain going (harvester to dealer to end user) which was has been severely disrupted in this crisis,” says Michele Insley, executive director of Wellfleet SPAT.
To date, 54 Shellfish harvesters have signed up to participate. Three Shellfish distributors have also signed up and offered to donate their services to this cause: Big Rock Oyster Company in Harwich, Holbrook Oyster in Wellfleet and Wellfleet Shellfish Company in Eastham.
“Starting this week, shellfish will be delivered to the Faith Family Kitchen in Hyannis. The Faith Family Kitchen plans to make the shellfish into a nutritious stew to serve to its clients. Currently, they are serving 150 to 200 meals a day, three days a week. Mac’s Kitchen in Eastham has also volunteered to make a shellfish stew and distribute it to those in need for take-out,” a statement from SPAT says.
If any HACCP certified kitchens are is interested in participating they can email [email protected]