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Food banks in need of deer meat donations

(Devan Ridgway)

With hunting season coming around, food banks are requesting people to donate deer meat. 

Protein is a vital component for our bodies but is currently a hard commodity for food banks to maintain. Programs such as Hoosier Feeding the Hungry and Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry want to remind hunters and landowners to consider donating that leftover venison to your local food bank.

Executive director of Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Julio Alonso is grateful to have donations and expects to offer deer meat to their partner agencies in the coming season as it is a very popular source of protein. 

“Deer meat is a great alternative to beef and pork and a lot of other things that are really the high demand items and they’re valued by a lot of people,” said Alonso.

Deer donations have come to Hoosier Hills Food Bank in numerous ways over the years like population control programs and organizations that work with processors to pay the fees for hunters who are willing to donate deer to food pantries. 

Some local organizations and funding for the deer program include Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry and Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund.

The process is simple: hunt a deer, harvest it, drop it off at your local processor in which the fees will be paid off, and a venison burger will be created to be distributed to food banks. 

The most recent data from the Department of Natural Resources shows that in 2017, Indiana hunters donated about 36,000 pounds of venison.

Alonso says having the ability to benefit families with the several varieties of protein Hoosier Hills Food Bank can offer to them is important to him. 

“A lot of our agencies welcome the opportunity to get deer meat but they’re definitely a few that are on the lookout because they know it's popular among their clients,” said Alonso. 

Deer hunting season in Indiana runs through November 28th.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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