Kentucky Hunters for Hungry had highest totals in 2023

Published 7:20 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry posted its highest-ever totals in 2023 in its ongoing efforts to fight hunger by facilitating the processing, packaging and delivery of healthful ground venison meat.

Kentucky hunters donated more than 3,000 legally harvested deer to the program last fall, yielding 116,764 pounds of venison — and in turn 467,000 servings — to be used in food banks and shelters across the state during the following year.

“We’re so excited about the continuous growth in this program, through which thousands of hunters help their neighbors in need all around the state,” said Roger LaPointe, executive director of Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry.

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Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry takes cash donations throughout the year, and deer donated by hunters each fall, to supply protein to thousands of Kentuckians who are less fortunate. Through the program, participating deer processors across the state receive deer brought in by hunters during the fall hunting season, then process and freeze venison burger packages suitable for transport and cooking. Cash donations are used by Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry to pay the costs of deer processing.

“We’d love to be able to provide the popular venison meat sticks to more schools and students in need, but this requires more sponsors to help underwrite the cost,” LaPointe said. He welcomes prospective businesses to contact him about how they can help support the meat stick snacks program in their local school districts.

In recent years, Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry has also worked with selected deer processors to produce and supply packaged venison meat sticks for use in school backpack programs, which send food home with students who are at-risk for hunger. In 2023, the organization supplied about 60,000 meat stick snacks to schools in several counties to help ensure children receive enough protein for healthy growth and function. 

“We’re very thankful for Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, its cash donors and all the deer processors who make it work,” said Rich Storm, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We’re especially proud of the hunters who help to manage Kentucky’s deer herd by harvesting and donating extra deer beyond what they need to Hunters for the Hungry each year.”

For more information on donating money as well as deer, go to Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry.