Donated venison is a vital component of volunteer food pantries and kitchens this time of year, and thousands of hunters across the nation participate. But some food pantries are finding that hunters’ donations can’t keep up with demand.

From this story in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

The Hunt for the Hungry program is on pace this hunting season to surpass previous totals of donated deer, but organizers say the economy still is hampering donations. About 400 deer have been donated to Hunt for the Hungry, which gives venison to food pantries in 11 area counties.

Organizers hope hunters continue to donate throughout the bow and muzzleloader hunting seasons, which run through early January. The program is seeing a good number of donations but could still be doing better.
_”A lot of deer hunters are probably keeping deer to feed their own families, and you have to respect them for that,” said Lee Dudek, volunteer coordinator for Hunt for the Hungry. “And I think a lot of them are probably donating to people they know, people who need it.” More donations through Hunt for the Hungry would help area pantries, including Paul’s Pantry in Green Bay, accommodate growing numbers of clients. “The hardships are getting worse,” said Angie Allard, manager of Paul’s Pantry. “More and more hardships are coming in. We always have a lot of families coming in, but more and more lately.”

Have you ever donated any venison to a “Hunters for the Hungry” type program? Do you think the economy and the ever-rising price of meat is having an effect on venison donations?