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Fish to Families program helps local hunger-relief programs

You’ve heard of farm to table. On Fridays, a San Diego program brings healthy meals from the ocean to hunger relief nonprofits. KPBS Reporter Melissa Mae shows us how local fishermen and chefs are coming together to help their community.

The Fish to Families program, led by the San Diego Fisherman’s Working Group, connects fishermen and chefs to community members who are food insecure.

Why it matters

Fish to Families started during the pandemic as a way to help local fishermen.

The program is now funded by a $40,000-grant from the Parker Foundation, that covers the cost of the fish and the chef's expenses including other ingredients and packaging for the meals.


Jose Monroy from Feeding San Diego said they wouldn’t otherwise be able to provide their clients with fresh fish without the help of the program.

“It’s priceless. It’s something we wouldn’t be able to do without their help and now San Diegans are getting fresh fish, good quality protein,” Monroy said.  

By the numbers

The program has made about 11,000 meals since starting in 2020. Each week for the last six weeks, Craft Catering has prepared 250 nutritious meals. These meals are given to local hunger-relief non-profits: Feeding San Diego and it's partner Third Avenue Charitable Organization, API Initiative, Olivewood Gardens and Mundo Gardens.

Closer look

Peter Halmay, president of the Working Group, follows the fish from the dock to the kitchen.

“We’re not just fishing and making money. We’re investing in our community and giving something back,” Halmay continued, “Everybody along the way likes the program and wants to contribute, not very often we get that kind of cooperation and the people at the end are thrilled.”


Chef and Owner of Craft Catering Marcus Twilegar helped create the Fish to Families program.

“I’m born and raised here in San Diego, down in the south bay area and a lot of the meals are going down to that area. So, for me, it’s very close to my heart because the city raised me, so it’s really nice to be able to give back to the city,” Twilegar said.   

Fisherman David Haworth said the program is great for people who might not be able to prepare fresh fish on their own.

“I really like it. It makes me feel good. It’s just something that I’m passionate about, selling and distributing fish throughout San Diego,” Haworth said.    

Looking ahead

Fish to Families has enough grant money to continue for a little over three months. Halmay from the Fisherman’s Working Group says they hope to secure future funding to extend the program for longer.