Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry
Hunters and Farmers Have Big Impact Feeding the Hungry
Soon deer season will be underway, a group of area hunters and meat processors guarantee some of that tasty venison makes its way to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana to feed the hungry. Actually Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry is a national organization with a presence on Facebook and YouTube that donates venison to food banks for distribution to pantries and other groups. The program began more than a decade ago by founder Rick Wilson of Maryland who was moved to feed the hungry by seeing a woman trying to put an untagged deer in her car trunk for her needy family.
Matthew Hines, who works for Maxwell Farms in Randolph County, coordinates the FHFH program in Eastern Indiana and said the local group supplied 2,214 pounds of venison in 2010 that translated into about 8,400 meals for needy families. "Food pantries get a lot of canned vegetables and food, but not a lot of meat," said Hines, who said 41 deer were donated to Second Harvest in 2010.
The East Central Indiana group has an annual bow shoot and obtains other donations to raise money to pay for processing the meat. Area conservation club members and hunters supply the deer and meat processors prepare the meat for distribution. It's not hard for a hunter to have extra deer to donate. One deer can feed 200 people and venison can be used as a substitute for beef. Farmers also contribute hogs and other livestock to partcipating processors to donate to Second Harvest. Among those in Eastern Indiana are Knightstown Locker, Henry County; Adair Processing, Buck Stop and Fisher Packing in Jay County and Dishman Meats and Farmland Locker in Randolph County. For more information, Hinds can be reached by calling (765) 546-1389 or email at email@example.com