Missouri's firearm deer season kicked off Saturday, bringing hunters out to get a shot at bringing in a deer.
The statewide Share the Harvest Program is sponsored by Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri.
At Stonie's in Perryville, Mo., where deer are being dropped off for processing by the minute they have seen a large amount of deer coming in.
Tyson Wibbenmeyer, co-owner of Stonie's says by midday, they have already had roughly a hundred deer come in for processing. But not all the meat is going back with the customer.
"It's a very good program," Wibbenmeyer said. "It helps the local people out and families that really need protein in their diet."
Wibbenmeyer said they have already had at least half a dozen customers donate their meat to the Share the Harvest Program.
"We generally supply about 2,000 pounds a year roughly for the Share the Harvest Program for the food pantries," Wibbenmeyer said.
An average deer can bring in about 40 pounds of quality meat depending on the size of the deer.
Six deer have been donated to Stonie's at the time of this writing.
Share the Harvest is a cooperative effort between hunters, meat processors and local charitable organizations.
It provides food to the hungry through deer meat donated by hunters.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, in 2014, 3,967 hunters participated, donating 213,443 pounds of venison that helped out Missouri families who are in need of food.
Deer meat donated at Stonie's goes to the Ladies of Charity Food Pantry in Perryville.
From there, the meat is donated to families throughout the area.
According to the SEMO Food Bank, 11.9% of Perry County residents are food insecure.
This means they don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Roughly 2,270 people in the county are food insecure which include 970 children.
New figures from the SEMO Food Bank show that 64,710 in the Southeast Missouri are at risk of hunger.
Missouri Firearms deer season runs from November 14 through November 24 this year.
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