By Laura Swanson, Volunteer Coordinator for Smiley Brothers/Sisters Salmon Harvest
2020 has been a challenging year is so many ways, and as the season loomed for the Smiley Brothers/Sisters Salmon Harvest, we had special permission for small groups of volunteers to physically distance and see what the run would brings us for the local food bank. The run started out slow, but then was over the top (literally) — filling multiple totes daily; volunteers worked several hours and made several trips to FishPeople at Garibaldi Landing. The final tally exceeded Smiley Brothers “best year” by several hundred fish, and we have over 3,000 pounds of salmon being canned at Bell Buoy in Seaside. And we need your help. This is THREE-TIMES our average amount of salmon, and even with our generous donors and partners (providing processing and canning at cost), we still need over $10,000. Please share this story with friends, family, acquaintances. And send your donations to Smiley Brothers Salmon Harvest, so we can provide this incredible LOCAL protein to food banks throughout Tillamook County.
As you can imagine, this year, the need is even greater as the pandemic has impacted our local communities. The Smiley Brothers & Sisters continue to organize volunteers to take the salmon bounty from the North Fork Nehalem Fish Hatchery for processing at FishPeople/Garibaldi Landing. The harvest is alive and well with experienced leadership and volunteers to provide the North Tillamook County Food Bank, Tillamook Regional Food Bank and local assisted living communities with this valuable, local nutritional support for North Coast families.
Neah-Kah-Nie High School students helped design the 2020 label, and volunteers are currently labeling cans that will be delivered to Tillamook County food banks over the coming weeks.
During the harvest, Nehalem Bay House and Kilchis House residents enjoyed “salmon week” — as fresh salmon is delivered daily to the Houses. There was such a bounty this year that we were even able to put over 200 pounds of salmon in the assisted living communities’ freezers.
Here’s a bit of the history: The Smiley Bros. began these coordinated partnerships in 2009 to harvest, process and distribute local Coho Salmon to the local food bank. This tremendous bounty of high quality Omega-3 proteins is needed by all but especially by our youth and aging populations. The success over the last 11 years is made possible with the support of Oregon Fish and Wildlife, the North County Food Bank, the Eugene Schmuck Foundation, and many more organizations and individuals.
To ensure your donations are tax-deductible, the Smiley Brothers Salmon Harvest is a project of Fulcrum Community Resources as the sponsoring 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The Smiley Brothers project and Fulcrum are perfectly suited with similar missions – fostering the Nehalem Bay community to a sustainable future, by working cooperatively with local organizations to connect us all to the outside world. For more about Fulcrum Community Resources, go to www.fulcrumresources.org.
We are thankful for your excellent support of the efforts over these past 11 years. With your help and donations, we have provided thousands of pounds of local salmon to our food bank. In 2019, the 400 fish became nearly 1,000 cans of salmon to help stock the shelves at the Food Bank. We are thankful for your past support, and hopeful of your continuing support for the delivery of this valuable food source to our North Coast communities.
Here’s some photos from this year’s harvest:
Here’s some video of working the trap at the Nehalem Fish hatchery.
See the Smiley Brothers website for videos, photos and more about this opportunity for local resources being used to provide protein-rich meals for many in our community www.smileybrothers.org.
The community continues to step up, working closely with ODF&W, local processors, and the volunteers who transport the harvested Salmon from the North Fork Nehalem River to Garibaldi for processing, labeling and distribution. It simply cannot be done without your donations to offset costs and put these nutritious meals on the table for the hungry in our community.
Please send your donations, payable to FULCRUM RESOURCES/Smiley Bros. Salmon Harvest
c/o Laura Swanson, 16900 Lucky Lane, Nehalem OR 97131
For more information about volunteer opportunities, please call Laura Swanson at 503-939-5416.
Your generosity helps “The Swimmer” keep its promise “To Feed the People.”