Police in Tennessee are warning residents of the Union City area of a man soliciting donations while posing as a representative of Hunters for the Hungry, a charitable program that provides the needy with venison harvested by hunters.
According to Hunters for the Hungry and its parent organization, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF), the man operates under the alias “Todd Cochrane” and is accused of receiving donations from local businesses while depositing the money directly into a private bank account.
“We are obviously disturbed that this individual has taken advantage of the generosity of well-meaning people in the name of our Hunters for the Hungry program,” the TWF told WBBJ. “Tennessee Wildlife Federation is a nonprofit conservation organization, and we rely on the support of Tennesseans to operate our programs. Hunters for the Hungry has provided 4.7 million meals to neighbors in need since the program was launched in 1998.”
Hunters for the Hungry, like similar programs in other states, relies on generous hunters to donate their harvests, which in turn will go to wild game processors involved in the program and eventually end up in local food banks and soup kitchens.
You can get an inside look at the program below:
The Dyersburg and Union City police departments said they are currently investigating the case, and residents who believe they were a victim of the scam should contact the authorities.
“We have discovered that the gentleman has also been in Dyersburg soliciting funds by saying he is associated with Hunters for the Hungry. We have confirmed he is not affiliated with that group, or the TWRA,” Dyersburg police investigator Jim Joyner told The State Gazette. “It’s important for our local businesses to know if this gentleman comes in attempting to solicit funds that it’s a scam and we are currently investigating these complaints.”