The two-week deer hunting season began on Monday, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is encouraging hunters to donate their deer meat to help feed the hungry through the "Hunters Sharing the Harvest" program.
Department spokesperson Samantha Krepps said that there is a real need for the meat. "Nearly 1.4 million Pennsylvanians are at risk for hunger in one of the most productive agriculture states in the northeast," said Krepps. "So, think about that. That's about one out of every twelve people in the state that will go without a meal."
Krepps said that hunters can take their deer to more than 100 participating meat processors in the state and donate any amount of venison they choose. She said that any hunter donating the whole animal is asked to make a minimum $15 contribution to cover processing costs.
Krepps said that this program helps a lot of people. "Last year, this program donated nearly 100,000 pounds of venison to more than 4,000 emergency food assistance agencies throughout the state," said Krepps. "And this program provides food banks, soup kitchens, and social service programs with more than 750,000 meals."
She said that hunters interested in donating can visit the program's website to find participating processors.