A huge donation of delicious frozen fish will help feed people in the Humberside region for months, local charities have said.

UK Fisheries, the Hull-based operator of Britain’s distant-waters fishing fleet, has responded to the pressures faced by charities amidst the Coronavirus crisis by donating a total of 1.2 tonnes of frozen cod to food redistribution charity FareShare Hull & Humber and Emmaus Hull and East Riding.

The donation of over 7,000 standard 170g fillets[1] was transported free of charge by Yorkshire food wholesaler Turner Price, making this a local team effort which will help to feed hundreds of vulnerable people in the region over the weeks to come. FareShare and Emmaus particularly welcome the food donation at a time when fish is a seasonal favourite.

Jodie Colgrave of FareShare Humber & Hull, which distributes food to 128 charities and community groups throughout the region, said: “FareShare is committed to ramping up its support during the COVID-19 crisis, providing vital food supplies each week to charities and schools across Hull and the wider area. We welcome the cod donated by UK Fisheries, which is needed now more than ever and will make a big difference for the projects and vulnerable people we serve.”

Alex Slater of Emmaus Hull and East Riding, which supports formerly homeless people to help them get back on their feet again, said the fish, caught in sustainable waters in the Barents Sea by UK Fisheries’ flagship vessel Kirkella, were a very timely gift: “We are so very grateful for the incredible delivery of fish from UK Fisheries. We house 30 companions, and this amount of fish will give everyone a meal once a week for 16 weeks! During the retail shutdown our shops have been forced to close and this is a huge part of our income gone so to receive such a donation means a great deal. Thank you to all on Kirkella!”

Jane Sandell, CEO of UK Fisheries, added: “The Humberside community has always pulled together and difficult times, and this is no different. Our company and crews have deep roots in the region and so we’re happy to be able to lend a hand.”

The donation, which was filleted and frozen at sea within minutes of the catch and can be stored in perfect condition for many months, was welcomed by Emma Hardy, MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle: “This donation is a wonderful act of kindness from UK Fisheries, I was honoured to be a guest on Kirkella last September, and it just goes to show that with us all working together in Hull we can make a huge impact on people’s lives.

“Delivering sea-fresh, filleted cod to FareShare and Emmaus just before Easter must have been a delight. I know how hard everyone involved with FareShare and Emmaus are working during this difficult time, and to receive this amount of food would have helped their work immensely.

“Hull is a great community and we are working hard together to help provide for vulnerable and at risk members of our city, I am so proud to be able to represent our community and to have great workers and companies willing and prepared to dig deep during this outbreak. Thank you Kirkella and all that sail on you.”

[1] While 1.2 tonnes of fish equates to 7,059 standard 170g fillets, the standard food charity definition of a ‘meal’ is 473g of food.