Pennsylvania hunters can donate deer

venison storage

Harrisburg, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding joined Hunger-Free Pennsylvania and Hunters Sharing the Harvest to encourage Pennsylvania’s more than 850,000 licensed hunters to consider donating a deer to Pennsylvanians in need of food this hunting season.

A nonprofit organization, Hunters Sharing the Harvest coordinates the donation, processing and distribution of venison to Pennsylvanians facing food insecurity. In 2019, Hunters Sharing the Harvest coordinated record donations for the program with more than 160,000 pounds of venison distributed to provide 822,000 meals to Pennsylvanians in need. On average, a single deer donated can provide up to 200 meals.

In 2019, the Department of Agriculture renewed a five-year contract with Hunters Sharing the Harvest to provide funding to defray costs of processing the donated venison. Under the contract, the department pays up to $145,000 annually in processor costs.

In 2018, 1.4 million Pennsylvanians, nearly 10.9% of the population, didn’t always know where their next meal was coming from. In 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, that number increased by 41% to 2 million insecure Pennsylvanians. Even more startling, of the 2 million food insecure, 630,900 are children. That’s an increase of 57.6% since 2018.

Hunters interested in participating can take their deer to one of the participating deer processors throughout the state and donate any amount of their venison to the program.

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