Deer hunters in Indiana will soon be offering a helping hand in putting food on the tables of Hoosiers in need through the DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s Sportsman’s Benevolence Fund. The fund makes it possible for hunters to donate venison through a participating butcher by paying the processing fee, and Conservation Officer Lt. Colonel Steve Hunter said the program provides an opportunity for hunters to demonstrate concern for their fellow man.
Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry and the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club have developed a network of participating butcher shops throughout the state and have coordinated with food banks serving every Indiana county to pick up and deliver the venison to soup kitchens. All venison is ground into burger and provided in two-pound packages.
Debra Treesh, founder of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, said protein is the hardest commodity for food banks to get, but thanks to contributions by Indiana DNR Law Enforcement and deer hunters, food banks will soon be able to provide nutritious protein to hunger relief agencies in Indiana.
The fund received public funding during the 2013 legislative session through a bill presented by senators Mike Crider of Greenfield and Brent Steele of Bedford. To participate, a licensed deer hunter must legally harvest a deer, field dress it and deliver it to a participating butcher.
A video about the fund is at youtube.com/idnrvideos.