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Tampa Bay fishermen donate their catch to families struggling during the pandemic

Over the next few months, fishermen will be offloading as much as 20,000 pounds of red grouper and red snapper to help those in need.

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Fishermen from the Tampa Bay area are stepping up to help families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance is partnering with the St. Petersburg Free Clinic to bring 20,000 pounds of fresh fish to families who are facing economic hardship because of the pandemic. 

Over the next few months, commercial fishermen in Madeira Beach will donate red grouper and red snapper to St. Petersburg Free Clinic for distribution to the people and community it serves. The clinic is a multi-service, independent, human services agency that helps locals who are in need of food, shelter and health care.  

"Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve been serving at times up to triple the amount of families we typically support,” said Jennifer Yeagley, CEO of St. Petersburg Free Clinic. “Half of these households have never had to visit a food pantry prior to COVID-19. So, we are very grateful to the local fishing captains and these businesses all working together to provide sustainable, local seafood to our neighbors in need."  

RELATED: Florida coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, deaths and recoveries

All the fish caught and donated through this program will be marked with the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance Gulf WildTM tags. The tags let families track the fish’s journey from boat-to-plate and let them know where the catch came from. 

RELATED: Metropolitan Ministries is behind on food donations after a tough year with COVID-19

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