From North Dakota Game and Fish Department
-- The North Dakota Community Action Partnership's (NDCAP) Sportsmen Against Hunger (SAH) program is encouraging bowhunters to donate bow-harvested deer to the program.
Anyone with an animal to donate should contact a local Community Action Agency or Ann Pollert at 701-232-2452 for a list of participating SAH processors.
The list is also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish website (http://gf.nd.gov/) and North Dakota Community Action Partnership website (www.capnd.org). This program is currently accepting bow-harvested deer only.
"According to Game and Fish, North Dakota issued about 17,000 bow tags for deer hunting this year," said Pollert, program coordinator. "Meat is a valuable staple for our food pantries and we encourage bowhunters who have harvested an animal they don't need to donate it to this program. We will use it to help feed the hungry."
Pollert also said sports clubs and even non-hunters can support this program through financial donations to cover processing costs.
"This program is a win-win for everyone, but funding for processing the meat is the bottleneck," Pollert said.
"Emergency food providers could accept over 71,000 pounds of venison - that's about 1,400 animals. But with current funding, we aren't able to come even close to that amount."
In 2004, NDCAP began working with community wildlife groups to develop a venison donation program to help address statewide hunger problems reflected in needs assessments completed by the seven Community Action agencies across the state.
SAH is a statewide venison donation program designed to help low income individuals meet their basic food needs. Community Action agencies, along with wildlife groups, service clubs and other sponsors raise funds for venison processing. Processed venison is then distributed throughout the state to food pantries and other emergency food outlets.
When it was launched in 2004, the program accepted 115 donated deer. Last year 381 deer were donated to the program.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services provides funding to the Community Action Agencies and also supports SAH with funding for processing.