Share the Harvest Contributions

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Some Missouri hunters are using guns and bows and arrows to fight hunger. They are sharing the deer they bag with Missouri's needy.

During the 2001/2002 deer season, 1,623 hunters who participated in the Share the Harvest program provided more than 76,171 pounds of venison to hungry families across Missouri.

Share the Harvest was established in 1992 to give hunters an easy way to donate deer meat to the needy. A hunter who wants to participate in the program simply takes his deer to an approved processing plant and tells the processors how much venison he wants to donate. The processor packages and stores the meat for pickup by a sponsoring group, which delivers the venison to a local food bank or other organization for distribution to the needy.

Although Share the Harvest is a statewide program, it is organized and operated at the local level by a civic club or sporting group. The first step in setting up a Share the Harvest program is to find at least one deer processor and one charitable agency to participate in the program.

The organizing group then contacts the local conservation agent. The agent provides information and advice and ensures that both the packing house and charitable organization are reliable.

To learn if your area has a Share the Harvest program, or to create one, contact the nearest Conservation Department regional office.