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Alabama Hunters Play a Vital Role in Feeding the Hungry
October 23, 2006
As the 2006-07 deer season opens, hunters are encouraged to provide food to needy families by participating in Hunters Helping the Hungry. The Hunters Helping the Hungry program provides thousands of pounds of ground venison to area food banks. Food banks then donate the processed venison to help feed needy families. Since the program began in 1999, more than 319,000 pounds of ground venison has been donated to Alabama food banks statewide.
Hunters Helping the Hungry began as a joint effort of the Governor’s Office, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation, the National Rifle Association and the Phillip Morris Company. Today, the program is sustained by annual fundraiser quail hunts hosted by the Governor.
“Thanks to the generosity of hunters, the amount of donated venison increased from 8,000 pounds in 1999 to over 57,000 pounds last season. Donating food to the needy is just one of the many ways hunters contribute to our state,” said Gov. Bob Riley. “The number of hunters donating harvested animals increases each year but more food is needed. I encourage every deer hunter to donate at least one deer to Hunters Helping the Hungry this season.”
The combination of Alabama’s long hunting season, dense deer population and generous bag limit provides ample opportunity for hunters to put food on their own tables as well the tables of those less fortunate. There is no charge to the hunter for processing the deer. Forty-one processors throughout the state participate in the program and more are being added to the list each season.
How Hunters Helping the Hungry Works
· Hunters field dress the deer and take it to a participating processor. A list of deer processors is available at www.outdooralabama.com. The hunter is not charged to donate the venison, but hunters may voluntarily pay processing fees to provide more venison for food banks to distribute.
· The deer is processed into ground venison, packaged and frozen in quantities not exceeding four pounds each. The process venison is distributed to the nearest participating food bank. The processor receives $1 per pound from the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation for their labors.
· The food bank picks up the venison for distribution to those in need.
Deer processors not participating in Hunters Helping the Hungry are asked to call (334) 242-3467 for more information or to sign on as a participating processor.
The current list of participating processors and their locations by county are:
Anyone wishing to make a donation to help fund this program may send a check or money order to the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation, P. O. Box 140, Montgomery AL 36101-0140. Hunters Helping the Hungry should be denoted on the check.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com.