KENAI — A commercial fishing trade organization is donating 300 pounds of sockeye salmon to the Kenai Senior Center.
The first 50 pounds of the donation from Alaska Salmon Alliance arrived at the center Wednesday, The Peninsula Clarion reports.
The salmon meal was originally suggested by Kenai senior Howard Hill, who secured the donation from the Salmon Alliance, said senior center director Rachael Craig.
"Some people say it helps brain-power," Craig said, of salmon. "But it helps your skin and provides the oils for your body, for your joints."
Salmon Alliance Executive Director Arne Thomson said the organization is primarily made of seafood processors, including Snug Harbor and Great Pacific Seafoods. He said with major seafood processing plants in Kenai, it was fitting to donate some of the goods to a local organization.
"Here we are on the Kenai River," Thomson said. "You've got major seafood processing plants right here in Kenai. And we think we should be making good, high-quality sockeye salmon available to our senior citizens."
Thomson said the organization has been doing a lot of public outreach about the importance of the seafood industry, including salmon donations to communities. In the past, the Salmon Alliance has donated to Palmer, Big Lake, which served donated salmon to victims of the Willow Wildfire, and the city of Kenai, which used it to feed guests at Governor Bill Walker's February inaugural ball.
The donated fish will go toward the center's Wednesday lunches, which are open to the public as well as fed to home-bound seniors enrolled in a meal delivery program.
"It's lean, good in protein," said senior center cook Melissa "Missy" Bailey. "Gosh darn pretty much no hormones, no antibiotics, that sort of thing. Right out of Cook Inlet."
She said she was considering a seafood stuffing or a teriyaki glazed steak.
"When we put salmon on the menu, you know they'll show up," Bailey said.