Michigan sportsmen and sportswomen are giving back this holiday season with an all-time record amount of venison donated to local food banks and homeless shelters. To date, current projections show that, for 2019, hunters have donated over 58,000 pounds of venison along with $100,000 to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger (MSAH), which is a nonprofit partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Food Bank Council of Michigan, various homeless shelters and food pantries, meat processors and deer hunters, The Rapidian reports.
“These donations of meat and money are some of the many ways Michigan sportsmen and sportswomen make a positive impact on the quality of life in our state,” said Matt Pedigo, chair of the Michigan Wildlife Council. “Sportsmen not only help protect and enhance our beautiful forests, waters and wildlife, they often support their neighbors in need.”
The amount of venison donated in 2019 will be enough to make 232,000 meals, which is significantly more than last year’s tally of 208,580 meals that used 52,145 pounds of meat and $99,629 in donated funds, according to The Rapidian.
And the meat is used in pasta dishes and more to make it tasty for everyone.
“Meat is something food banks, food pantries and shelters can never get enough of because it’s so costly,” said Dean Hall, MSAH executive director. “Thanks to the generosity of hunters – whether they donate several pounds or a whole deer – we’re able to help fill thousands of hungry bellies every year.”
Interested in donating extra venison this year? Check out this statewide list of 41 participating processors, which includes locations all over the state—even in the Upper Peninsula. You can either drop off a few extra pounds of venison or an entire deer – it’s up to you. If you donate an entire deer to an approved processing facility, it doesn’t cost you a thing. Game donations serve the needy in the area where they came from, according to The Rapidian.
“Hunters just need to take their deer to one of our partner processors and tell them they want to donate a portion or their whole deer to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. We are happy to take care of the rest,” said Hall.
“Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger is a great example of how hunting benefits all parts of society,” Pedigo said. “This work is bringing real, meaningful improvements to people’s lives and to Michigan’s environment.”