Maine Government News
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry: Hunters for the Hungry 2012 Seeking Wild Game Donations
October 18, 2012
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
AUGUSTA, Maine – With game hunting season under way, Maine’s Hunters for the Hungry program is looking for generous sportsmen to share their harvest to help feed those less fortunate.
The cooperative program between the Maine departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W), is accepting donations of moose, deer and bear meat from hunters to be distributed to community kitchens, pantries and shelters.
“Mainers have a tradition of helping their neighbors, and this is a meaningful way for the state’s sportsmen and sportswomen to help game management while providing thousands of nutritious meals to hungry people across the state,” said ACF Commissioner Walter Whitcomb. “I want to thank those hunters and processors who have kindly donated in the past and encourage everyone who is successful in this year’s hunt to consider a contribution, even of just of a few pounds.”
Maine’s Hunters for the Hungry was founded in 1996 and has grown steadily ever since with nearly 3,000 pounds donated last year alone, said Jason Hall, ACF Emergency Food Assistance director. Meat processing costs are paid for by ACF or the receiving charity.
One deer can provide approximately 110 meals of lean, high-protein meat but even hunters wanting to keep their game for themselves can still donate a few pounds to the program, explained Hall.
Maine Game Wardens, under IF&W, are on the front line in receiving donations. The food also comes in from game processors. ACF coordinates with processors to get food into the hands of local hunger relief organizations or arrange storage in Augusta for future distribution, he said. The program cannot accept donations of wild fowl or game birds.
In addition to seeking hunters, the program is looking for processors, who are required to have a state vendor license that ACF can help them obtain.
Hunters who want to participate or receive more information on Hunters for the Hungry can call toll-free 1-888-4DEER-ME or visit http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/co/tefap/.
(Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry) Jason Hall, Emergency Food Assistance director for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, shows some of the game meat already donated to the Hunters for the Hungry program. The program is again seeking donations of meat which is distributed to community kitchens, pantries and shelters around the state. Some 3,000 pounds of game meat were donated last year.