Hunters are howling in Louisiana after a state health official declared about 1,600 pounds of donated venison should be destroyed.
The venison was donated through the popular Hunters for the Hungry program, which is endorsed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. But an official with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, which does not recognize the program, said the meat did not meet standards and ordered it to be thrown away.
The official reportedly said the meat did not meet guidelines and had to be destroyed because it came from hunters.
“They threw it in the dumpster and poured Clorox on it,” Rev. Henry Martin, Executive Director of the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, told KTBS 3 TV. “Not only are we losing out and its costing us money, the people that are hungry aren’t going to get as quality of food; the hunter that’s given his meat in good faith is losing out.”
Hunters for the Hungry is one of several programs of similar nature nationwide through which hunters can donate venison to help provide meat to homeless shelters. The programs have garnered widespread support and acclaim, with millions of pounds of prepared venison donated to the needy over the years. Venison processors prepare the meat, usually in small packages, and are paid their processing fees through donations raised by the programs or state wildlife agencies who help defray costs through foundations or donations, or both.
Hunters for the Hungry is gaining traction with more chapters throughout Louisiana and Mississippi to help those in need.
The Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission will have to spend more than $8,000 to replace the destroyed meat, according to this report.
The Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission in northwest Louisiana provides 172 beds for homeless men, women, and families with children. The Mission sheltered 1,200 men, women and families with children last year, providing 137,898 meals and 45,966 nights of lodging.
The loss of this healthy venison is a blow to the mission and those in need. If you’d like to send a donation to help defray the cost of replacing the venison destroyed by the state agency, send it to Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, 901 McNeil St.,
Shreveport, LA 71101-3949.