Thousands of Missouri deer hunters donated 289,292 pounds of venison to the state’s Share the Harvest program this past deer season. The season’s total included nearly 5,600 whole deer.
The donated deer meat will help feed hungry Missourians all around the state, according to the Department of Conservation and Conservation Federation of Missouri.
Hunters donated 198,277 pounds of venison the year before. Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided nearly 4 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians.
Share the Harvest, coordinated by MDC and CFM, works by deer hunters who donate their extra venison to more than 100 participating meat processors throughout the state. Processors grind the venison into ready-to-use packages which are given to local food banks and food pantries for distribution to Missourians in need of food assistance.
“Hunters remain the driving force behind this popular program that helps feed fellow Missourians who are in need. We sincerely thank the thousands of deer hunters who support Share the Harvest, along with the many participating meat processors and sponsors,” said Sara Pauley, MDC director.
Processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local supporting organizations and statewide sponsors, including Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Midway USA Inc., Missouri Food Banks Association, and United Bowhunters of Missouri as well as MCD and CFM.