Retired Steelers kick off the hunting season campaign

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Ben Roethlisberger
Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was on hand to help kick off Hunters Sharing the Harvest's 2022 fall campaign. (Submitted photo)

Oakdale, Pa. — Former Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel and Ben Roethlisberger teamed up to tout Hunters Sharing the Harvest’s 2022 fall campaign. Both avid deer hunters, Keisel and Roethlisberger gathered with HSH volunteers and supporters at the Collier Sportsmen’s Club in Oakdale Nov. 10 to encourage hunters across Pennsylvania to donate one or more deer to the HSH effort. 

Since 1991, HSH has channeled more than two million pounds of deer meat, donated by Pennsylvania hunters, to food banks, soup kitchens, and churches for distribution to those in need. These donations have provided more than 10 million servings of lean, high-protein venison to food-insecure Pennsylvanians. 

Randy Ferguson, Hunters Sharing the Harvest executive director, based in Greenville, Mercer County, praised hunters for record-breaking venison donations over the past two seasons and outlined how the HSH program works. He said when hunters donate a deer, they take it to one of 110 participating butchers across Pennsylvania who participate in the HSH program. 

There is no fee to the hunter because generous HSH-supporter businesses, agencies, and individual donors have already paid the butchers’ processing fees through program sponsorship.

Butchers grind all donated venison into burger because it is the most versatile way to use the meat. Foodbank volunteers pick up the frozen ground meat for distribution to people who need it. 

One of HSH’s biggest funding partners is the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture, engaged in a funding support plan totaling $175,000 this year. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is also a financial supporter of the program. Several corporate donors attended the event to affirm their support. 

Dave Bojtos and Amy Hopkins presented HSH executive director Ferguson with a check from CNX Foundation for $2,500. Diehl Automotive Group donated $1,500. Seneca Resources, National Fuel presented a check for $5,000. Christina Kramer of Range Resources noted that her company has contributed $50,000 to HSH over the past eight years and plans to continue its support. Safari Club International’s Pittsburgh Chapter also supported HSH with a $500 donation. Donations from sponsors pay butchers’ processing fees. 

Ferguson closed the ceremony by reminding that hunters who wish to donate a deer can find the address and phone number for nearby participating butchers and HSH volunteer county coordinators on the Hunters Sharing the Harvest website sharedeer.org. 

Ferguson also stressed that the program always welcomes new butchers who qualify for the program. The website, he added, can help butchers who want to participate in HSH become enrolled.

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