Hunters Make Donation to Food Bank

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Hunters donated 862 harvested deer to the 2004 Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) program. This year’s donations provided more than 25,000 pounds of venison that food banks across the state used to make nutritious meals for thousands of needy Georgians over the holiday season.

This year’s contribution brings the grand total of donated deer to 5,801 and over 72 tons of venison since the program’s inception in 1993. This donation is made possible by the following state agencies and other organizations: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Department of Corrections, Department of Agriculture, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Outdoor Network and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

“On average, it takes a hunter 15 days to harvest a deer, so the generosity of Georgia hunters – giving their time and the fruit of their labor - is just phenomenal,” says DNR Commissioner Noel Holcomb. “We are so pleased to be a part of this program and owe a debt of gratitude to these dedicated sportsmen and the contributions of all the program sponsors.”

The HFTH program is an annual event that occurs each fall. Hunters donate harvested deer at designated collection sites located around the state. The deer are processed into ground venison and donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). The ACFB then distributes the meat to non-profit agencies responsible for providing food assistance to local communities throughout the state. This year, in addition to the six weekend collection sites, four processors collected deer for the entire month of November and processed all deer collected at their sites. The deer collected at the six weekend sites were processed, at no charge, by the Department of Corrections, saving the HFTH program more than $13,000 that can be re-invested into the program next year.

“Our duty to this program is to ensure that the meat given to the Food Bank is handled properly and is of the highest quality,” says Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin. “Venison is a high protein, low-fat meat that will provide excellent sustenance and we are glad to participate in this program as it makes a difference in the lives of these hungry Georgians.”

For more information on the HFTH program, visit the WRD website at www.gohuntgeorgia.com or call (706) 295-6041. If information is needed on donating game to those in need during other times of the year, call the ACFB at (404) 892-FEED.