Tennessee hunters have again demonstrated great generosity to their community with massive donations of venison to local food banks. Nearly 600,000 meals were supplied to needy Tennesseans during the 2015-16 hunting season. As of this year the 18-year-old Hunters For The Hungry program has collected well over one million pounds of game meat for the needy. The donations equate to nearly six million nutritious meals for food banks and pantries statewide.
The previous year’s donations amounted to 650,000 meals and the year before was 500,000 meals. But the annual need is always greater. HFTH hopes that this year’s meat collections will continue to grow as it did for the previous eight years.
Thanks to monetary donations from many Tennesseans, HFTH has arrangements with 65 deer processors in 64 Tennessee counties to allow generous hunters to donate a deer with no processing cost.
There are two ways to help HFTH help the needy in your county or neighborhood. One is to give venison or other wild meat to the program – a few pounds or often an entire deer. The other way is to give cash to help defray the cost of processing the meat.
The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is the HFTH sponsor and it has two other programs to help the community participate. The newest one is the Deer Coin, purchased with a tax-exempt $50 donation to the TWF. The Deer Coin is good for one donated deer processing at any of the HFTH processors (not meant for a personal deer). These coins make great gifts for family and friends.
Another continuing TWF program is the Hunger Challenge, a competition among high school clubs and other organizations. The clubs earn points by raising critical funds to help feed Tennesseans in crisis; in addition, participating students gain important skills in leadership, club-building, humanitarianism, and philanthropy. To learn more on all of these programs go to www.tnwf.org or call Matt Simcox at 615-353-1133.