Last updated: November 14. 2013 1:39PM - 637 Views

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What a remarkable year 1993 was.

History was made when North Carolina sportsmen saw the need to feed the hungry and began the grassroots program of venison donation. The N.C. Hunters for the Hungry program was formed as a 501 c (3) tax exempt, non-profit organization to coordinate the efforts of hunters, sportsmen’s organizations, processors, food banks and generous individuals to feed the hungry with our abundant natural resource the white-tailed deer – venison.

Since then this coalition of conservation and nonprofit organizations working with corporations, individuals and state agencies, has been actively involved in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in North Carolina. Venison donations through N.C. Hunters for the Hungry currently provide between 150,000 and 200,000 meals annually.

Yet more help is needed.

Between 2010 and 2012 North Carolina and Louisiana led the nation in the number of children under the age of 5 who lack consistent access to adequate food; 80 percent of the state’s households with children and receiving food assistance don’t know where their next meal is coming from; and 42 percent of families served by food banks have had to choose between buying food and heating their homes according to stats compiled by the 2010 Hunger in America Study by Feeding America and the Food Hardship in America 2012 Report from the Food Research and Action Center.

North Carolina’s deer population has grown to more than 1.3 million deer statewide. Harvesting up to one-third of that number each year is commonly recommended by wildlife professionals. If hunters achieved that goal and donated only 10 percent of their harvest, more than 850 tons of high quality meat could be distributed to those in need, delivering more than 5 million meals.

Hunger has a cure.

— Provide enough high quality protein to feed 4 people for just $1. This 501(c)3 nonprofit offers a safe and secure credit card online donation tool at nchuntersforthehungry.org/Donate.html or deliver donations by mail addressed to NCHFTH, P.O. Box 99108, Raleigh, N.C. 27624. For more information about how you can make a difference through financial donation, contact Treasurer David Blake at mdavid.blake@rrd.com

— Sponsor a community deer donation drive in Eastern NC this December using a new resource made available by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation – a mobile deer cooler that can be towed by a standard half-ton vehicle, placed within the community or hunt property to receive deer donations, and safely and ethically transport multiple deer back to an area processor. Free to use by qualifying organizations. To reserve this trailer in 2013, give NCWF Farmers Manage Deer program managers Guy and Judy Gardner a call at 919-552-9449.

— Deliver deer directly to an area NCHFTH processor for donation and know that you’ve made a difference. A complete list of participating processors can be found online at nchuntersforthehungry.org/Processors.html

Please join this coalition of volunteers to help make the next 20 years ones we are all proud to have made possible. A complete list of scheduled events can be found online at nchuntersforthehungry.org/Calendar_of_Events.html.

If you know of a processor in your area that would like to participate in the program, please encourage them to contact NCHFTH President Dick Hamilton by e-mail to: dick@ncwf.org; or call Processor Contact Jeff Pearce by phone at 919-496-3547.

North Carolina Hunters for the Hungry, Inc. is a key partner in the North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s Farmers Manage Deer project, whose goal is to develop a model that will help farmers both control deer numbers and diversify farm income through sport hunting programs on properties located in historically tobacco dependent counties of eastern North Carolina. “Farmers Manage Deer” is a sponsored project of the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

More information about this project can be found on the web at ncwf.org/FMD/.

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