A partnership between Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets and the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association – a nonprofit that supports the state’s fishermen and sustainable fisheries – is launching a new stew.
Maine Coast Monkfish Stew is a combination of monkfish and locally-sourced vegetables in a light base with spice. It is available in Hannaford stores throughout southern Maine, including Falmouth, Kennebunk, North Windham, Yarmouth and York with plans underway to expand availability to other stores.
Proceeds from sales of Maine Coast Monkfish Stew are earmarked for the purchase of fresh fish from local fishermen that will be donated to area food pantries to help combat food insecurity as part of the Fishermen Feeding Mainers Program.
“Hannaford is excited to introduce this locally-sourced and prepared stew to our customers this summer,” said Nathan Jewell, seafood category manager. “In addition to featuring fresh, sustainably-harvested monkfish caught right here on the Maine coast, the stew includes local products such as Maine potatoes, carrots, cream and lobster stock.
“Offering locally-sourced, sustainable products is a win-win for the Maine economy and our shoppers. We encourage customers who have not yet discovered monkfish to try this new stew while knowing their purchase supports both our local fishermen and community members in need.”
Monkfish is not yet well established as part of the American seafood diet, despite it being native to the Northwest Atlantic and frequently found within New England’s coastal waters. The monkfish used in the new dish is cut by Free Range Fish in Portland, while the stew is cooked and packaged by Hurricane’s Premium Soups and Chowders in Greene, Maine.
“This appetizing dish features a dynamic and complex flavor profile that even those who have never tried monkfish will enjoy,” said Phil Wilbur of Hurricane’s Premium Soups and Chowders.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, MCFA launched the Fishermen Feeding Mainers Program as a way to combat food insecurity in local communities. Maine Coast Monkfish Stew is an extension of that program.
“Introducing Maine Coast Monkfish Stew to a retail market allows us to create a revenue stream back to the Fishermen Feeding Mainers Program,” said Ben Martens, MCFA executive director. “Additionally, the stew is a way for us to introduce consumers to a local and sustainably sourced seafood choice largely unfamiliar to them and to support Maine’s fishermen.”
The charitable program has benefitted several local food banks and pantries supporting food insecurity across Maine, including Bath Area Food Bank, Harrison Food Bank, St. Luke’s Food Pantry, Sacred Heart Food Pantry, Good Shepherd Food Bank and Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.
Since its launch in 2020, the Fishermen Feeding Mainers program has provided more than 400,000 meals throughout the state.