The U.S. Department of Agriculture featured for the first time a whole grain-breaded fish stick made with Alaska pollock in its latest catalogue. It is the first processed pollock offering in the national school lunch system.
The Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers has been working with the USDA to get a new item included in the catalogue since 2009.
“I think overall, it’s going to increase sales to school districts because it’s going to allow districts that can’t even participate now to participate,” said Pat Shanahan, GAPP program director.
The new item is a secondary offering to the pollock in block form, which is still a part of the catalog. The school districts then have to turn that block into a dish, which may not be as appealing in districts with tighter budgets for pantry items and kitchen staff. Now those schools can serve Alaska pollock with less hassle.
Shanahan anticipates the USDA will make its purchases for the 2017-18 school year this spring.
Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers represents 15 of the largest companies in the $1 billion pollock industry, all of which are based in Seattle.
Since pollock has been included in the USDA catalogue, the GAPP website has maintained a resource for the product on their website that includes nutritional information, recipes and answers to frequently asked questions.