Pratt, KS — In 2010, Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry (KSHFH) helped collect 1,108 donated deer, plus other meat, providing nearly 225,000 meals to the needy. KSHFH has been doing this for years, but they’re not alone. A new study commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and conducted by Mile Creek Communications reveals that last year, 11 million meals were provided to the less fortunate through donations of venison by hunters throughout the U.S. Nearly 2.8 million pounds of game meat made its way to shelters, food banks, and church kitchens and onto the plates of those in need.
The study revealed that donations were largest in the Midwest and the South. The Midwest provided 1.3 million pounds of game meat, amounting to 46.1 percent of total donations, with the South close behind at 1.25 million pounds and 45.7 percent. The Northeast contributed 7.2 percent of total donations and the West 1 percent. Though lower than other regions, the West’s contribution still accounted for 108,520 meals.
Ground venison is a versatile food, with cooks using it in pasta sauces, chili, tacos, meatloaf, burgers, and other dishes. Individual hunters donate game meat and even pay for processing, though many hunters choose to work through organizations such as KSHFH.
The organization invites anyone to donate legally-harvested deer or elk to participating meat processors. There is no cost to donate deer or elk as long as the KSHFH organization has sufficient funding to cover the processing expense. Donated game must be field dressed and legally tagged. Hunters may also donate a portion of the meat they have processed to a participating processor. For more information and to find participating meat lockers, visit the KSHFH website, www.kshfh.org.