NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hunting season is here, and for many people struggling with hunger, donating a deer can help provide much-needed relief.
"We did a survey with 6,000 hunters across the state and we found that the average family keeps two deer for the family to consume," said Matt Simcox, manager for the Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Hunters for the Hungry. "Once [hunters] fill their freezer this program gives them the opportunity to donate and feed their neighbors. The average donated deer will get you about 168 servings."
Now in its 20th year, the program has provided more than 5.9 million meals to those in need.
"We work with are five major Feeding America food banks in the state. We work with Second Harvest Food Bank here in Nashville we work with Room In The Inn," he said. "We work with about 150 hunger-relief organizations statewide. That meat gets turned into chili or spaghetti. Anything that you can use ground meat for you can use in venison recipes."
Last year, the program collected the most venison they'd seen in a single year.
"So we're coming off that momentum this year. We're fortunate for the first time every processor, all 85 processors in our program, have funding to take deer donations free of charge," he said.
To learn more about this program and see a list of processors click here.