Share the Harvest program feeds the hungry - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Share the Harvest program feeds the hungry

(KFVS) -

 With firearms season kicking off Saturday, November 14, the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) asks deer hunters around the state to Share the Harvest and help Missourians in need.

Many Missourians don't have a dependable source of protein. Red meat can provide that important component in a diet. Venison is a valuable red meat because it is low in fat and an incredibly healthy source of protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missourians and their families can receive venison and get essential protein. 

In 2014, thousands of Missourians benefited from another successful year of Share the Harvest. There were 3,961 hunters who donated 212,343 pounds of venison. CFM expects even greater results this season. 

Share the Harvest is a partnership of dedicated citizens, agencies and organizations. CFM administers the program with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Missouri Food Banks and processors around the state provide their services for the program. Sponsors of the program include Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops and other businesses around the state. Since the beginning of the program in 1992 hunters have donated over 3.3 million pounds of venison to the needy.

"Share the Harvest is a win-win program. Hunters spend time doing something they enjoy and give back to their community," said Brandon Butler, executive director of CFM. "The venison donated is a valuable source of protein and something many food pantries need. Deer hunters should take pride in being part of this charitable program."

To participate in the program, hunters take a deer to one of the approximately 130 approved processors around the state. Simply let them know how much you'd like to donate, whether that's a few pounds or the entire deer. From there, the hunter's job is done. The processor will then package the meat and it will be picked up by the Missouri Food Banks who distribute the venison to those in need.

While the processing fees are the hunters responsibility, funds are available to help cover a portion of the costs when donating a whole deer. CFM reimburses approved processors up to a certain amount. Because of this, many processors are able to offer processing fees at a reduced cost. Contact one of the approved Share the Harvest processors to find out more information.

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