Eight Ways You Can Help Lend a Hand!


One hunter's trophy buck may just be meat in the freezer to another hunter.

One hunter’s trophy buck may just be meat in the freezer to another hunter.

September is “Hunger Action Month” and The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath, renowned chef for anything with fins, feathers or fur, provides steps to offer support to those one in six Americans who struggle with hunger every day.

Scott Leysath

Scott Leysath

Hunger Action Month is a nationwide campaign mobilizing the public to take action on the issue of hunger. Organized by the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, the campaign brings greater attention to the issue of hunger in America and promotes ways for individuals everywhere to get involved with the movement to solve it.

“Every month is an eye-opening experience for me as I help shelters across the U.S. gain a valuable protein source of venison through Sportsman Channel’s Hunt.Fish.Feed. program,” said Leysath. “We’ve fed more than 20,000 people since the program started in 2007, but there is also more we can do. One in five children risk facing hunger every day. And most shelters only need one-dollar donation daily and that will feed three meals. They are very efficient and effective, but they still need our help.

  • Venison is healthy, nutritious and many food banks will gladly accept donated meat through organizations that assist them.

    Venison is healthy, nutritious and many food banks will gladly accept donated meat through organizations that assist them.

    Hunting this fall? Clean out your freezer of last year’s harvests and donate them to your local shelter.

  • Most shelters will receive cuts of meat they can’t use – like steaks or tenderloins – so they have to grind them. But that’s another expense. Donate a commercial quality grinder to your shelter and they will forever be in your debt.
  • Pledge to make your morning coffee at home for one week and donate the savings to your local shelter. Challenge a friend to join.
  • Organize a food drive at your school, workplace or place of worship
  • Typical items needed at food banks: Soups, stews, canned chili, tuna, canned fruit, canned chicken/meat/spam, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, rice, canned/instant potatoes, coffee and tea, corned beef hash, cereal and oatmeal, beans, pastas and sauce.
  • Avoid giving sugary products – many of the shelters I visit already get day-old breads, muffins, cakes, donuts from bakeries locally.
  • Connect with your local food bank here: http://hungeractionmonth.org/app/connect
  • Encourage your Member of Congress to visit a child nutrition program of a local food bank. Congressional visits shine a spotlight on how federal nutrition programs make an impact in your community. http://hungeractionmonth.org/app/ask

The Sporting Chef, hosted by Scott Leysath, leans on Leysath’s 25-year career as a fish and game chef, along with some of the outdoor industry’s most-talented and innovative experts on the topics of fish and game preparation, outdoor cooking, camping, harvested game handling and storage. The show offers outdoor programming in a fast-paced magazine format covering a variety of topics from stuffing quail with rabbit-rattlesnake sausage to local game feeds to finding out whether farmed salmon is a good thing for our bodies or the environment.

Tune in to The Sporting Chef on Sportsman Channel on Fridays at 11:30 a.m. ET and Sundays at 7:30 a.m. ET. Learn more about Sporting Chef and on Facebook.

If you have some ground venison, give this meatloaf recipe a try that Leysath whips up and check out more than 600 other great recipes and suggestions in this fantastic compilation:

Deer Meatloaf With Herb Crust

6 – 8 servings
1 pound ground venison
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups onion, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups tomato salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder (I prefer ancho or chipotle powder)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs (I prefer Japanese “panko” breadcrumbs)

Herb Crust
You can substitute any herbs for this crust. In a pinch, you can substitute dried herbs or herb blends like Italian seasoning.
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, blend together all ingredients. Combine ingredients, mixing well with your hands. Place into a well-greased baking dish and form into a rectangle, about 3 inches tall. Spread the Herb Crust over top of meat. Place dish into a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 160 to 170 degrees.

Get more recipes here to make your venison the best it can be this season …