Ohio hunters donated 1,017 white-tailed deer to local food banks to benefit Ohioans in need during the 2014-15 season. The ODNR Division of Wildlife works together with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to assist with the processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank. The program allows for subsidy grants to be provided in allotments that are matched with funds generated or collected by local Ohio FHFH chapters.
Food banks received approximately 50,850 pounds of venison and 203,400 meals for needy Ohioans. One processed deer amounts to approximately 50 pounds of venison and 200 meals. Go to fhfh.org to find a local Ohio deer donation program.
• Venison donated to participating food banks must be processed by a federal, state, or locally inspected and insured meat processor. Hunters wishing to donate their deer are not required to pay for the processing of the venison as long as the program has available funds.
• Ohio ranks fifth nationally in hunter-donated venison, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Nationally, hunters provided more than 11 million meals to people in need.
• Wild venison is among the most nutritious meat available. The meat is lean with little fat content and it is high in protein and iron. Wild venison has no additives or hormones, and is low in calories, fat and cholesterol when properly prepared.
• Ohio has 64 participating meat processors and 34 FHFH local chapters. Anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor can find more information at fhfh.org. The website includes a list of coordinators, participating butchers, and the counties they serve.
• Hunters can also donate venison through Safari Club International’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program. Learn more at safariclubfoundation.org. Whitetails Unlimited chapters also use local funds for programs such as venison donation. Go towhitetailsunlimited.com to find a local chapter and make a donation.
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