For Immediate Release
January 26, 2021
Grants Awarded to Port of Delcambre
The Twin Parish Port District (Port of Delcambre) was recently the only Louisiana recipient of two grants totaling nearly $305,000 that will be used to increase growth and opportunities for its Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market (DSFM) and its fishing industry.
In a September 30 announcement, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service awarded a three-year grant of $231,244 to the Twin Parish Port District, through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), to promote a healthier community through the DSFM. The DSFM Health and Wellness Initiative was the only proposal selected in Louisiana among the 49 FMPP grants awarded across the country.
The program will develop marketing strategies for producers of seafood, meats, and produce that focus on health and wellness. Twin Parish Port Director and DSFM Director Wendell Verret says market vendors will be educated on healthier options for their value-added products that will include healthier recipes and nutritional labeling on their products. Customers can look forward to added market dates and “pop up” markets and educational demonstrations. “This project will help develop a farmers market network that offers fresh and frozen seafood and healthy food options,” says Verret who has been the market’s director since its inception in 2013.
The Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market is held the first Saturday of the month, 9a-1p, from February through December. The next market is on March 6, 2021 from 9am to 1pm.
In another grant awarded at the same time, the Port District received $73,480 from the Local Food Promotion Program to conduct an 18–month study that will explore the development of a regional multi-use facility making seafood more accessible to the public. “As more fishermen pursue selling directly to consumers and processing their own catches, we want to provide them with an outlet,” says Verret.
The Acadiana Regional Seafood Hub Planning Study will explore the feasibility of a facility and develop a business plan. It will also research local and regional business enterprises who would act as middlemen between the producers and consumers.
The proposed site would feature a commercial-shared kitchen that will allow producers to create and test products and conduct food demonstrations. It will facilitate packing, storing, and preparing shipments of frozen seafood and other products for retails and online sales. Intent on seeing Louisiana’s seafood industry thrive, Verret says, “If our plan is accepted, it will create economic opportunities for small and mid-sized fishing businesses and increase the customers’ choices and access to fresh and healthy food.”