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Ohio venison donations exceed 500,000 meals for food banks

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

-- Ohio deer hunters donated more than 125,150 pounds of venison to local food banks through the 2010-11 deer hunting season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the Department of Natural Resources.

The pounds of venison equal approximately 500,600 meals for Ohioans in need.  A total of 2,503 deer were donated this deer hunting season compared to 2,336 in 2009-10, 1,096 in 2008-09, and 418 in 2007-08.

The Division of Wildlife has collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry for the last four years to assist with processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank.  A subsidy grant was provided in allotments matched with funds generated or collected by local Ohio FHFH chapters.  

The division subsidizes the program as an additional deer management tool, helping wildlife managers encourage hunters to tale more does.

Venison donated to food banks must be processed by a federal, state or locally inspected and insured meat processor  participating with FHFH.  Hunters wishing to donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay for processing the venison as long as the program has funds available to cover the cost.  There are currently 73 participating meat processors across Ohio.  A list is provided at www.fhfh.org.

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