Meat is one of the hardest foods to come by for charities dedicated to feeding the hungry...but if you're a hunter (or farmer), you can help! Hunter and outdoors woman, Corey Hunt, shares how Farmer's and Hunters Feeding the Hungry partners with hunters to provide high-quality protein to those most in need.
The holidays can be a time of giving to those less fortunate as well as a time to reflect and be thankful. For many hunters, thankfulness comes in the form of a freezer full of meat that will be cooked over the next year and reflecting on the bounty of the hunt.
However, many hunters’ freezers are filled to capacity with two deer! In many states, they could harvest two to three more deer per season, but have nowhere to store them.
One organization, called Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, is bridging the gap between those who need the meat and hunters and farmers with plenty of possible venison, elk and livestock to go around.
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry was founded in 1997 by Rick Wilson. He stopped one evening to help a woman he thought was stranded by the side of the road. After asking if she needed help, it became clear she wasn’t having car trouble, but needed him to assist her by lifting a deer into the trunk of her car.
Rick told the woman she would have to report the deer to local authorities and it was illegal to transport it without a tag. The woman responded that she did not care about the ramifications, her family was too hungry.
From this encounter, Rick started Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
Addressing America's Hunger
According to their website, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) is “committed to addressing America’s hunger problem in a unique and relevant way…enabling hunters and farmers in states nationwide to provide nutritious meat to feed the hungry of their communities.”
Since 1997, FHFH has been able to donate 21 million servings of venison, elk and livestock to those in need.
In 2020-2021, 403 deer/elk/livestock has been donated, which translates to about 16,120 pounds of meat and 64,480 servings.
According to Feeding America, 1 in 9 Americans struggle with hunger and many more houses experience food insecurity, or not knowing where their next meal will come from. Meat is one of the hardest commodities to acquire in a food bank or feeding ministry due to high cost.
Thankfully, FHFH can bridge the gap between an abundance of available meat and those who really need it.
FHFH invites hunters to donate their deer/elk/livestock to processors that work directly with this organization.
Once the deer or elk is properly tagged and field dressed, the processor will then package and freeze the meat to distribute it to local food banks or feeding ministries in that community.
Every deer helps, and one deer will harvest approximately 200 servings of meat. Fees for processing the venison, elk, or livestock are covered by FHFH through donations to their organization.
FHFH is a year round ministry. Even though most deer seasons are in the fall, farmers can apply for crop damage permits in the spring and summer to legally harvest nuisance deer.
FHFH has locations in many states, and is always accepting donations through their website, FHFH.org. Financial contributions are tax deductible and FHFH is a nonprofit organization.
Give to those less fortunate
Many hunters that harvest deer do so to provide their family and friends with a sustainable, high protein meat that is readily available.
If you are a successful hunter, please consider donating a deer or elk to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. The donation of meat will go directly to the local community in need and allow the thrill of another successful hunt.
If you would like to donate to a local nonprofit organization with deer or elk or monetarily, I urge you to consider FHFH this holiday season.