Area hunters again have the opportunity to help others while they enjoy their outdoor pursuits. The Hunters Helping the Hungry program provides a way that area hunters can give thousands of pounds of ground venison to needy families and individuals in the state.
Since the program's beginning in 1999, almost half a million pounds of ground venison have been donated to area Food Banks!
The abundant deer population and long hunting season combine to allow area hunters to stock their own freezers and share their game with the needy.
Posters are placed in many sporting goods stores and venison processors to remind hunters of their opportunity to donate a deer.
The deer is processed into ground venison, packaged and frozen in quantities not exceeding four pounds each, ready to be distributed to the food banks.
There is no charge to the hunter for processing the deer. Many processors throughout the state are participating in the program and more are being added to the list each season.
Begun as a joint project of the Alabama Governor's Office, the National Rifle Association, the Phillip Morris Company, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation, the program raised funds through the Governor's Hunt for Hunger benefit quail hunts.
Donating food to the needy is just one of the many ways hunters help us. We encourage all area deer hunters to participate in this program. Hunters who know of local processors not participating in the Hunters Helping the Hungry program are asked to encourage their processors to become involved.
It's not too late to be included in the program. Call (334) 242-3467 for more information or to sign on as a participating processor.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to help fund this program may send a check or money order to the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation, P. O. Box 140, Montgomery AL 36101-0140. Hunters Helping the Hungry should be noted on the check.
How Hunters Helping the Hungry Works
- Hunters field dress the deer and take it to a participating processor.
A list of deer processors is available at http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/HelpingHungry/PARTICIPATING%20PROCESSORS%202009-2010.pdf
- It doesn’t cost the hunter any money to donate the venison, but hunters may voluntarily pay processing fees to provide more venison for food banks to distribute.
- Processors grind the venison then contact their nearest participating food bank. The food bank will pick up the venison. The processors receive $1 per pound from the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation.
- The food bank will distribute the venison to those in need.