by Mike Tontimonia
FHFH is the acronym for one of the area’s most beneficial exchanges, one that encourages hunters to harvest more deer, a primary goal of Ohio’s game managers and farmers, and assures that the excess of venison, a great source of low fat protein, finds its way to the table of hungry persons.
Its proper name is Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, a thoughtful and effective program which just last year produced 122,221 pounds of processed venison by funding the effort through donations and grants.
Nearly all of Ohio’s counties participated last winter with just ten counties left, each of which still needs someone to step forward to act as program coordinator. According to the state’s FHFH coordinator, Josh Wilson, there is still a need for more county coordinators and meat processors.
Wilson lists the duties of a county coordinator as creating a network of at least one meat processor to cut, pack and freeze donated deer and one food bank that can distribute the meat to hungry persons and families. The coordinator will also develop a fundraising plan to support their local FHFH.
Anyone interested in learning more about this worthwhile program and the responsibilities of coordination can contact another coordinator.
Coordinators are listed under “Local FHFH” online at fhfh.org, or call Josh Wilson at 1-866-GET-FHFH. Another contact is Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Vicki Ervin at 614-265-6325.
The FHFH program was started in 1997 after founder Rick Wilson encountered a woman in Virginia who was in need of help to load a road-killed deer into her car so she could feed her children. Wilson saw the need and he formed a program to raise the needed funds to pay to butcher donated deer.
Just ten years later FHFH has grown to include 130 volunteer coordinators in 25 states and annual donations of venison are nearing millions of pounds of meat amounting to 1.72 million meals.
For the person looking for a way to make a volunteer effort to make a difference, look very seriously at the FHFH program. It is the right thing to do. So go do it.