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Supply Chain And Inflation: Local Fire Departments And Churches Raise Prices For Fish Frys

By: Shelley Bortz/KDKA-TV News

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Inflation and supply chain issues have impacted upcoming local fish frys.

Several local fire departments and churches have been forced to raise prices this year. Some even had to cancel the entire season.

Bill Pelikan, president of the Skyview Volunteer Fire Department, said, "The struggle this year is that we had to order our fish early and pay for it early. And luckily, we had the funds to do that."

It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for the department. In fact, the fish frys account for 40 percent of the department's annual revenue. But it almost didn't happen this year due to supply issues with a seafood distributor.

"He approached us in November and said with the supply chain issues we should order our fish now if we can," Pelikan said.

Skyview pumps out about 700 pounds of fish on any given Friday during Lent. Pelikan hopes the department will still have a line wrapped around the building despite having to raise prices by 10 percent.

"I think they're going to expect it this year because everything is up," Pelikan said.

The department is not alone either. Organizers of several local fish frys have said they've had to increase prices to cover the higher food costs.

Holy Angels in Hays said it had to cancel the entire season because it was not able to get the fish it has used for 50 years. Instead of substituting and jeopardizing the quality of the product, Holy Angels decided to shut the doors this season.

That's why Skyview considers itself fortunate to have been able to preorder.

"Otherwise, we wouldn't be having a fish fry. We had a very good year last year with our fish fry, actually a record year. So we had the funds to go out and spend $27,000 to get all of our fish," Pelikan said.

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