This fall, some Hoosiers who need some help will be able to put more food on the table, thanks to deer hunters and the DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s Sportsman’s Benevolence Fund.
The fund makes it possible for hunters to donate venison through a participating butcher by paying the processing fee. To participate, a licensed deer hunter must legally harvest a deer, field dress it and deliver it to a participating butcher.
“This program provides an opportunity for our hunters to demonstrate their concern for their fellow man, allows the DNR another management tool for our deer population and provides nutritious meals to those in need,” said Indiana Conservation Officer Lt. Colonel Steve Hunter. “It is a triple-win situation.”
Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FisH) and the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club have developed a network of participating butcher shops throughout the state. The organizations also have coordinated with food banks serving every Indiana county to pick up and deliver the venison to soup kitchens. All venison is ground into burger and provided in 2-pound packages.
“Protein is the hardest commodity for the food banks to get,” said Debra Treesh, founder of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. “Thanks to contributions by Indiana DNR Law Enforcement and deer hunters, we will be able to provide nutritious protein to hunger relief agencies in Indiana.”
The fund received public funding during the 2013 legislative session through a bill presented by Sens. Mike Crider of Greenfield and Brent Steele of Bedford.
“Fighting against hunger in Indiana is a concern for us all and it makes me proud that the DNR and the outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen of our state can work together to overcome this need,” said DNR Director Cameron Clark.
A video about the fund is at youtube.com/idnrvideos.