Donated Deer Benefits Thousands Through Out the State
Thousands of Illinois families have benefited this holiday season from the generosity of Illinois deer hunters thanks to donations to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger (ISAH) program. Established in 1989, Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger encourages deer hunters to donate deer they harvest this fall and winter to be processed and distributed to food banks, food pantries and charitable organizations to help feed the hungry throughout the state. Prior to the second firearms season, hunters donated approx. 30,000 pounds of venison, which provided 120,000 meals to families throughout the state.
“Hunters have come through time and again to help feed hungry people in our state by donating whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program and this year is no different,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Joel Brunsvold. “Since the program’s inception, nearly 246,000 pounds of venison have been donated by hunters, providing more than 983,000 meals for needy families.”
Last year the program received 40,837, which provided 163,348 meals to needy families. ISAH began in 1994 with 4,800 pounds donated!
“Its truly amazing to think of how much the program has grown over the last 11 years. We have enjoyed great success and will continue to do so thanks to the generous hunters and meat processors of Illinois.” Said ISAH Program Manager Tracy Shafer.
With harvest donations from the second Firearm season (Dec 1-4) and the remaining archery season (closes on Jan. 12) yet to be included, program manager Tracy Shafer says she expects to eclipse last years total donation of 40,837 pounds.