For food banks nationwide, acquiring protein is a challenge because of the high cost of meat. Fortunately during hunting season, hunters help make up the shortfall with generous donations of protein-rich, low-fat venison that provide 11 million meals annually to the less fortunate.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, reports that, thanks to hunters, an estimated 2.8 million pounds of game meat makes its way each year to food pantries, church kitchens and shelters and onto the plates of those in need.
"Without venison, some of these organizations would not have protein, wouldn't have meat, to give to those folks who are coming in," said Peter Aldrich of Hunt To Feed in Connecticut.
With one deer able to feed up to 200 people, it's easy to see how important donations of hunter-harvested venison are to charitable food providers. Last year in Missouri, for example, 4,500 hunters donated more than 227,000 pounds of venison through a state program.
The NSSF video called Share Your Harvest encourages hunters to contribute some portion of their harvest this hunting season. "If you have a successful hunting season, donating venison is a way to make it an even better and more meaningful one," points out Glenn Sapir, the video's host.
Image courtesy National Shooting Sports Foundation