Knights of Columbus cancels Lenten fish fry dinners


Lack of supplies hurts annual event

Knights of Columbus member Mike Huelskamp, of Sidney, prepares fish for before placing it in a breading machine, right, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4.

Knights of Columbus member Mike Huelskamp, of Sidney, prepares fish for before placing it in a breading machine, right, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Grand Knight R. Michael Johnson, hands fried fish meals to Carolyn Milller, both of Sidney, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY – Due to the unavailability of Alaskan Pollock, and the skyrocketing cost of other fish and food supplies, the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus has been forced to cancel its Lenten fish fry events until further notice.

The Sidney Knights of Columbus have been serving fish dinners during Lent for several decades, but the pandemic, coupled with severe supply chain issues has forced the local organization to throw in the towel, at least for the immediate future.

“We have contacted distributors throughout the region, and none of them have fish to spare,” said Grand Knight R. Michael Johnson. “And, those that do have a minimal amount of fish to sell have raised the prices by astronomical amounts, making it economically unreasonable.”

He noted the cost of Alaskan Pollock has increased more than $4 per pound in the last three months. “And, alternative fish selections have gone up even more.”

Johnson noted that some distributors are still awaiting delivery of shipments ordered mid-2021.

“While cancelling the fish fry events was never even a considerable option for us, we are forced to make this drastic move because there simply is no fish to be had – anywhere,” he said. “Couple that with the fact that the cost of our other supplies have gone through the roof, we have no other choice.”

Johnson gave the example of the cost of oil used to fry the fish. “In three months, the cost of our oil went from $22 a carton to $46 a carton. And, it’s still on the rise.”

“This breaks our hearts,” he said. “The Knights of Columbus in Sidney has been serving fish for more than 30 years to our patrons – most of whom have told us it’s the best fish in the area. It is a carved-in-stone Lenten tradition in Sidney.”

But, he noted that as soon as fish becomes available, the Knights of Columbus will resume serving.

“When that will be remains to be seen,” he said. “But, we will be back, I can guarantee that.”

Knights of Columbus member Mike Huelskamp, of Sidney, prepares fish for before placing it in a breading machine, right, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_SDN030822FishFry2-1.jpgKnights of Columbus member Mike Huelskamp, of Sidney, prepares fish for before placing it in a breading machine, right, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Grand Knight R. Michael Johnson, hands fried fish meals to Carolyn Milller, both of Sidney, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_SDN030822FishFry1-1.jpgGrand Knight R. Michael Johnson, hands fried fish meals to Carolyn Milller, both of Sidney, during the Sidney Council 659 Knights of Columbus fish fry. The fish fry was held on Friday, March 4. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Lack of supplies hurts annual event