Farmers and hunters can feed millions


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.

More info

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, 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.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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