The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a bid solicitation for 342,000 pounds of frozen catfish fillets to be used for the agency's National School Lunch program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs for several US states.

Deliveries will be made between January and June of next year.

The offers are due to the USDA by Nov. 10.

Catfish bids represents nearly 25 percent of the $105.7 million (€90.2 million) the USDA has awarded seafood companies so far this year.

In September, the USDA fulfilled a contract worth over $25 million (€21.4 million) to provide wild, frozen shrimp to be distributed across several US states as part of its federal food and nutrition assistance programs. That purchase was made as part of the USDA's ongoing efforts to help alleviate food insecurity in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's spending by the USDA on seafood has already outpaced fiscal year 2019, during which the USDA purchased over $80 million (€71.8 million) in fish from domestic producers.

This year was also a good year for USDA pollock purchases. The agency has purchased 12.6 million pounds worth $26.4 million (€35.3 million), making it so far the third-highest purchase year by USDA for both volume and value.