Since 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 3.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians.
Share the Harvest benefits everyone involved. This highly successful program allows hunters to donate venison to Missourians in need. It provides healthy, protein-rich red meat for folks who would otherwise likely go without. It allows hunters to spend more time doing what they love, and boosts public perception of hunting. These factors combined make Share the Harvest an all around incredible program.
Typically, there is no cost to the donating hunter. However, depending on available funds and what a processor charges, there could be a small cost to the donating hunter. You need to check with the processor ahead of time to find out. Processors take care of the meat until it goes to a distributing agency. Agencies receiving venison then distribute it to individuals and families.
Gary Van de Velde, CFM First Vice-President said, “Make plans and preparations now to donate a deer to Share the Harvest. If not an entire deer, donate a portion or packages of ground meat. There is a great need out there for this healthy food source. Usually, the hundreds-of-thousands of pounds venison Share the Harvest produces lasts only a few weeks in the food pantries. They need more. Please consider donating.”
You may donate a whole deer or a portion of a deer. For instance, you can tell the processor you would like to donate only your ground meat. Knowing you can donate a deer to the program and really help another person allows hunters to harvest additional deer beyond what their family needs, and feel good about providing for others.
Share the Harvest is a great opportunity to shine a light on the good hunters do for others, while actively managing wildlife. According to MDC, more than 4,500 deer hunters donated more than a quarter-million pounds of venison from last season’s deer harvest. Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 3.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians.
We are seeing a resurgence of organic food in America. Farm-to-table initiatives are sweeping small towns and large cities. There are few foods healthier or tastier than venison. If you’re a Missourian who needs a little help putting meat on the table, reach out to your local food bank to find out how you can take advantage of the program. If you are a hunter with the opportunity to donate venison to a family that otherwise would not have any, please consider doing so.
The MDC website says, “The National Institutes of Health state that children need protein in their diets for proper growth and development, and adults need it to maintain good health. Yet many Missourians and their families can’t afford or can’t get to good sources of protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri hunters can help provide those in need with high-quality protein in the form of deer meat, which is naturally lean.”
Share the Harvest is a partnership of citizens, agencies and organizations dedicated to providing protein rich venison for those who may otherwise go with meat. The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) and the Missouri Department of Conservation administer the program, which wouldn’t be possible without the support of Missouri Food Banks and the many meat processors whose efforts are vital to the success of the program.