HARRISBURG – Agriculture Secretary George Greig has asked hunters to donate deer meat to the “Hunters Sharing the Harvest” program, which distributes to Pennsylvania food banks, soup kitchens and pantries.
“Hunger affects more than 1.5 million Pennsylvanians in all corners of our state,” Greig said during an event to kick off the annual program at Diller’s Custom Deer Processing in Enola, Cumberland County. “By donating venison, hunters can help keep food on their neighbor’s tables this winter.”
Hunters can take their deer to one of more than 100 participating meat processors throughout the state. They can donate any amount of their venison to the program, from several pounds to the entire animal.
Any hunter donating an entire deer is asked to make a minimum $15 tax-deductible contribution to help cover processing costs. The program covers all remaining fees.
The Department of Agriculture, through the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program, contributes $1.25 per pound of donated venison to reimburse processors. The deer meat is processed into ground venison before it is distributed.
“Through ‘Hunters Sharing the Harvest,’ the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is able to offer a high quality meat product that is highly desired by the families we serve,” Joe Arthur, executive director of the regional food bank said. “The donated venison is a great source of a low-fat, high protein meat product that is beneficial for a balanced diet.”
Pennsylvanians can also donate money to the Buck for the Pot campaign, which supports “Hunters Sharing the Harvest.”
To learn more about the program or to obtain a list of participating meat processors, visit www.sharedeer.org, or call toll-free 866-474-2141.