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Hunters Helping The Hungry

Generous hunters are donating deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) Program, providing thousands of pounds of venison to needy families across the state.

The 2011 season marks the 20th consecutive year that the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section (WVDNR) has sponsored the HHH Program. Since the start of the program, generous hunters and financial contributors have enabled the processing of 20,184 deer. That has allowed 769,582 pounds of highly nutritious meat to be made available to needy families and individuals throughout West Virginia .

Hunters participating in the program take their deer to certified meat processors where it is turned into two-pound packages of ground venison. The Mountaineer Food Bank (Gassaway) and the Huntington Area Food Bank, both members of Feeding America, collect the venison and then distribute it to the needy through their network of qualified charitable food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, shelters, community centers, orphanages, missions, and churches statewide. Financial support for the HHH comes from concerned individuals, businesses, conservation organizations, foundations and churches.

Click here to view the Participating West Virginia Meat Processors in PDF format.
(Note: this is a two page document; scroll down to view the second page.)

The West Virginia Council of Churches has established and promoted a Share the Harvest Sunday in November. Participating Churches asked each member to contribute one dollar, five dollars or whatever they can afford to the HHH program. Since the Share the Harvest Sunday was implemented a substantial amount has been donated to the HHH Program and plans are needed to expand this worthy venture to all churches that wish to participate.  (Click here to view Share the Harvest Sunday letter)

West Virginia is fortunate to have the generosity of so many hunters. The potential for HHH to continue to donate thousands of pounds of venison to the needy each year makes it a wonderful and worthwhile program. However, the total cost of this program can reach over $119,000 in one year. There is a lot of interest in this program, but the WVDNR cannot continue the HHH program at this cost without finding additional financial contributions.  This DNR is restricted from using sportsmen's license dollars to fund this program, and is completely dependent upon monetary donations by concerned individuals, businesses, conservation organizations, foundataions, and churces.

Interested individuals, churches, organizations and businesses can ensure the perpetuation of Hunters Helping the Hungry through their generous monetary donations. These donations are accepted throughout the year. Checks or money orders can be made out to Hunters Helping the Hungry and mailed to:

Hunters Helping the Hungry
DNR - Wildlife Resources Section
P.O. Box 38
French Creek, WV 26218

For more information concerning the HHH program, or to discuss tax-deductible donations, contact Gene Thorn or Judy Channell at 304-924-6211 or email eugene.r.thorn@wv.gov

Table 1. Hunters Helping the Hungry Annual Report.

 

Year *

2007 2008 2009 2010

Number of Meat Processors

18 18 17 17

Deer Donations

1,224 1,149 1,286 888

Pounds of Venison

49,789 45,505 50,007 35,344

Total Cost

$69,941 $64,058.20 $71,791.68 $51,248.80

*Processing and distribution cost can vary year-to-year with deer harvest and donations, and has amounted to over $119,000 in certain years.

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This program is being presented with financial assistance as a grant from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources.


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