Division of Wildlife provides grant to support food banks

Division of Wildlife provides grant to support food banks

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The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has contributed $25,000 in a grant to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry to support local food banks with donated venison.

The organization will use the funding to pay for white-tailed deer harvested by hunters to be processed and distributed to charitable organizations in Ohio. Additional funding will be secured by the organization with a goal to match or exceed the amount provided by the grant.

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, assisted by the Division of Wildlife’s grant, covers the processing cost for deer donated by hunters for the program. FHFH expects to pay the processing cost for 350 deer with this grant alone, each of which yields approximately 50 pounds of venison and 200 meals.

“I’m proud that the Division of Wildlife and Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry can combine their resources to put even more venison on the table for the people who need it most,” said Division of Wildlife chief Kendra Wecker.

This program encourages the harvest of deer for the purpose of wildlife management in Ohio, as well as provide for the wise and charitable use of the wildlife resource for direct public benefit. Hunters can find a list of processors participating in the FHFH program at feedingthehungry.org. Hunters wishing to donate their deer are not required to pay for the processing of the venison, provided the program has available funds.

Ohio’s deer archery hunting season is open until Sunday, Feb. 5. The muzzleloader season is from Saturday, Jan. 7 to Tuesday, Jan. 10. Hunting licenses and either-sex deer permits are available on the HuntFish OH app, at wildohio.gov, or at any license vendor.

Venison is a lean meat with high nutritional value. The Wild Ohio Harvest Community provides a variety of recipes for deer, turkey, fish, and small game. Check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Cookbook for ideas on cooking venison and other wild game.

Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.