Historic Initiative Provides $248,000 State Appropriation to Help Feed the Hungry of Maryland
OutdoorHub Reporters 04.20.12
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), the national venison donation and feeding ministry, is set to receive a $248,000 general fund appropriation from the State of Maryland this year to help feed the hungry of the state. At a time when poverty and food insecurity rates are on the rise, this funding will open the door for up to one million additional meals to be provided to the hungry.
“We thank God, the Governor, the General Assembly and the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation for making these funds available to help so many in special need of nourishment during these depressed economic times,” stated Rick Wilson, FHFH Founder and Executive Director.
Since 2002 FHFH has received an annual grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service to assist with the cost of receiving and processing venison for distribution to food banks and feeding programs that serve the hungry. Last year a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service audit determined that this grant was a violation of the rules of federal revenue sharing under existing federal programs. The loss of the grant would have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of meals for the hungry of Maryland.
An appeal was made by the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation (MLSF) to Governor Martin O’Malley who graciously agreed to provide supplemental funding for the 2011 hunting season to help FHFH make up for the loss of the grant. MLSF then requested a permanent solution and Governor O’Malley responded by including a $248,000 appropriation – an increase of $150,000 over the original grant amount – in his fiscal year 2013 state budget proposal. Thanks to the efforts of the administration and the MLSF, the General Assembly retained this appropriation in the final FY 2013 budget.
“The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation has and always will stand in support of FHFH,” said William R. Miles, Vice-Chairman.
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that provides nutritious meat from donated game and livestock to food banks and feeding programs that serve the needy. Formed in Maryland during 1997, FHFH now has Coordinators serving in 25 states nationwide and has served as a model for the development of sister ministries in Canada and Kenya.