The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) launched an online campaign this month to raise awareness of Hunters for the Hungry, a program that helps Texas hunters donate healthy venison to the hungry children and families served by the state’s twenty-one regional food banks.
The campaign encourages Texas deer hunters to donate venison locally by visiting a new website, texashuntersforthehungry.org. The website features a list of participating meat processors and hunger relief agencies, while the program’s Twitter and Facebook groups connect hunters to the website and to each other. TFBN also procured advertising space in the popular Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual to build interest in the program.
The expanded program makes it easy to help hungry Texans. Hunters are asked to bring their tagged, legally-harvested deer to a participating meat processor, and pay a nominal fee to cover basic processing costs. After processing and packaging the venison, meat processors contact local food assistance providers to pick up the ground venison.
“This program is a win-win for Texas landowners and hungry Texans,” said Celia Cole, CEO of TFBN. “Hunters for the Hungry helps landowners manage their deer population, while providing a badly needed source of lean protein to Texans in need.”
TFBN assumed management of the Hunters for the Hungry program this year from the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies (TACAA). TFBN actively recruits meat processors, solicits venison donations, promotes the program, and provides resources to support participating meat processors throughout Texas. Since the program’s inception, it has provided nearly 2.5 million pounds of meat – or an estimated 10 million servings – to Texans in need.
Regional food banks and local food pantries are likely to see high demand this holiday season as struggling families seek to cope with recent cutbacks in federal nutrition programs.
“When you gather around the family table for your holiday meal, we hope you will think of your neighbors in need and support Hunters for the Hungry,” said Cole. “In addition to donated venison, we are always in need of more processors and financial support to help us run the program.”
To find out more, or to support Hunters for the Hungry visit texashuntersforthehungry.org.
The Texas Food Bank Network provides a unified voice among food banks in support of their common mission to end hunger in Texas. Learn more at TFBN.org.
Logo courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife Department