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Crossroads Chef Partners With Local Organizations to Bring Fresh Seafood to the Homeless

Crossroads Chef Dave has been working with Eating with the Ecosystem, a local organization dedicated to designing and promoting a place-based approach to sustainable seafood in New England.

Under the supervision of Chef David Rocheleau, the kitchen at Crossroads provides hot meals to our clients five days a week. On average, 110 clients a day are served nutritious, expertly-prepared food in the dining room of our Providence headquarters.

Chef Dave faces the unique challenge of preparing his daily menus while incorporating an often unpredictable supply of donated ingredients. Much of the food served at Crossroads comes from organizations that specialize in making nutritious food available at low or no cost to the poor and homeless, such as the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Farm Fresh RI.

While these organizations provide a steady stream of fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains, proteins such as poultry or fish are often in short supply.

“Proteins are hard to come by,” says Dave. “We get a lot of carbs and grains that are donated.”

Recognizing this need, Dave has been working with Eating with the Ecosystem, a local organization dedicated to designing and promoting a place-based approach to sustainable seafood in New England.

Eating with the Ecosystem is launching a campaign called Seafood For All, which will bring local seafood to low-income neighborhoods, food pantries, and meal sites in Rhode Island, by encouraging the fishing of species that are abundant locally, but that are not typically in demand.

“Everyone wants cod, everyone wants swordfish,” says Dave. “But there are only so many out there.”

Seafood For All will connect the local fishing industry, seafood processors, and local food pantries. By connecting people in need of proteins with fish that is undervalued, both ends of the spectrum will benefit.

The local fishing industry benefits from fishing the species that are most abundant; food pantries will have a supply of fresh, local fish; and the local environment will benefit from the fishing of species that are seasonally available instead of the species that are most in-demand, and as a result, overfished.

This initiative aims to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have access to healthy, local seafood while helping to alleviate the problems of local overfishing and food insecurity among homeless and low-income individuals and families.



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