Hunters for the Hungry Prepares for 2003 Collection

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Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) is a program through which harvested deer become nutritious venison to benefit those who need it the most. More than 800 deer were donated during the 2002 collection and in total, more than 95,000 pounds of venison havebeen donated since the program began in 1993, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). Hunters can donate deer on the weekends of Nov. 1-2, 2003 or Nov. 29-30, 2003 at six of the collection sites and from Nov. 1 – Nov. 30 at three additional collection sites. Two new collection sites have been added this year – one in Columbus and one in Dallas.

“The Hunters for the Hungry program is an opportunity to show the positive aspects of hunting and provide a very necessary contribution to Georgia’s needy every year,” says WRD Director Noel Holcomb. “Our agency is very pleased to continue this traditional collection and hope to continue to offer it for years to come.”

Hunters interested in participating in HFTH should bring field-dressed deer to any of the drop-off locations (see below). All hunters who donate a deer during these weekends will receive a free HFTH t-shirt and will have their name entered into a drawing, sponsored by the Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF), for a deer rifle.

The following six locations will be available between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 1-2, 2003 and Nov. 29-30, 2003:

· Social Circle – WRD Fish Hatchery on Hwy. 278 (1.5 miles north of Exit 101 off I-20).

· Lexington – Oglethorpe County Farmer’s Market on U.S. Hwy 78.

· Newnan – Ga. Hwy 34 bypass (north of Newnan, east of intersection with Ga. Hwy 16).

· Dallas (NEW SITE!) – Paulding Forest Wildlife Management Area.

· Gainesville – Hall County Farmer’s Market.

· Rome – Berry College Wildlife Management Area Check Station.

The following three locations will accept deer (during business hours) from Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, 2003:

· Jefferson – Sealey’s Deer Processing, 5675 South Apple Valley Road

· Leesburg – Branch Taxidermy and Deer Processing, 105 State Hwy. 377

· Columbus (NEW SITE!) – Daffin’s Meat Processing, 4100 ½ River Bend Road

"As we head into this season of giving, the generosity of Georgia's hunting community is always remarkable," says Sarah Murphy of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. "Their protein-rich donations are some of our most needed food items. We at the Atlanta Community Food Bank owe each hunter a debt of gratitude for their efforts."

Sponsors of HFTH include WRD, GWF, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Outdoors News and the Atlanta Community Food Bank (representing the Georgia State Association of Food Banks).

“The Georgia Wildlife Federation is looking forward to another great year of Georgia sportsmen and women fulfilling their conservation mission,” says Jerry McCollum, President and CEO of GWF. “It is our responsibility to see that we use our resources wisely – and this is an outstanding way to show that hunters care not only about the game they pursue, but also about those in need.”

For more information on donating game to those in need during other times of the year, call the Atlanta Community Food Bank at (404) 892-FEED. For more information on the HFTH program, visit the WRD website at www.gohuntgeorgia.com, contact a WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 535-5700.