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Hunters Helping The Hungry

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

The 2017 season will mark the 26th consecutive year the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Section has sponsored the HHH Program. Since the inception of the program, hunters, financial contributors and participating processors have enabled the processing of 24,630 deer. With their generosity and the assistance of two area food banks, 941,066 pounds of highly nutritious meat has been provided to needy families and individuals throughout West Virginia.

Hunters who decide to participate in the program take their deer to a participating meat processor, where the processor grinds, packages and freezes the venison. The Mountaineer Food Bank (Gassaway) and Facing Hunger Food Bank (Huntington), both members of Feeding America, pick up the venison and distribute it to the needy through their statewide network of 600 charitable food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, shelters, community centers, orphanages, missions, 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.)

West Virginia is fortunate to have the generous support of its hunting community. The HHH Program has the potential to donate thousands of pounds of venison to the needy on an annual basis, making it a worthwhile program. However, the total cost of this program has averaged $58,989.86 over the past 6 years. There is considerable interest in the program, but the DNR is restricted from using sportsmen’s license dollars to fund the program. Therefore, the DNR must rely on the generosity of concerned individuals, businesses, conservation organizations, foundations, and churches.

Two of the largest sources of fundraising include the annual “Governor’s One-Shot Hunt”, as well as the annual “Share the Harvest Sunday” fundraiser. The Governor’s One-Shot Hunt, an antlerless deer hunt that began in 2007, provides a source of venison and funding to the program. The West Virginia Council of Churches holds an annual “Share the Harvest Sunday” during the first Sunday in November. On that day, approximately 3,000 participating churches ask their congregations to donate $1, $5, or any amount they can afford to the HHH Program. Any church that wishes to join in this effort can contact the Mountaineer Food Bank at (304) 364–5518 or the DNR District 3 Office at (304) 924–6211. (Click here to view Share the Harvest Sunday letter.) 

Interested individuals, churches, organizations and businesses can help to insure the perpetuation of the HHH Program through a generous monetary donation that can be made at any time. Checks and money orders should be made out to Hunters Helping the Hungry and mailed to:

Hunters Helping the Hungry
WV Division of Natural Resources
163 Wildlife Road
French Creek, WV 26218

For more information regarding the HHH Program, please contact Tyler S. Evans at (304) 924–6211 or Tyler.S.Evans@wv.gov.

Table 1. Hunters Helping the Hungry Annual Report

 

Year

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Number of Processors

18

18

19

17

16

16

Deer
Donated

1,011

892

754

503

637

649

Pounds of Venison

39,673

36,140

29,517

17,725

24,713

23,716

*Total Cost

$65,906.22

$75,000.00

$71,791.68

$56,731.75

$37,023.82

$47,485.68

*Costs associated with processing and distribution vary from year-to-year due to both the annual harvest and number of deer donated to the HHH Program

dhhrlogo  

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


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