The generous community-support program Hunters For The Hungry (HFTH) is positioned for another stellar year. The 2019 season starts with more than 80 processors in 66 counties throughout Tennessee, and every processor has funds to accept donated deer at no cost to the hunter.
One donated deer provides as many as 168 protein meals for Tennesseans in need and is distributed to food banks and soup kitchens across the state. More than 600,000 meals were supplied by the program last year. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation sponsors the HFTH.
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. To donate money or learn more about other TWF programs, go to www.tnwf.org or call Matt Simcox at 615-353-1133.
Hunters can drop off a whole deer donation at no personal cost. Each year HFTH covers tens of thousands of dollars in processing fees for donations. If deer donations surpass available funding for this season, hunters can pay a reduced, $50 processing fee. A complete list of participating processors is available on the above TWF website.
Hunters for the Hungry will test – through the TWRA – every deer donated within Unit CWD for chronic wasting disease, as well as many of the donations made in Region 1. Only whole deer donations will be accepted in Unit CWD and the counties that border it. Pound or Pack donations, which allow hunters to give a portion of their harvest, will continue to be accepted in the rest of the state.
In an abundance of caution, HFTH will discard all donations that test positive for CWD. There is no evidence CWD is transmitted to humans but the CDC still recommends against eating CWD-positive meat. For more information about HFTH, visit www.tnwf.org/HuntersForTheHungry.