Tennessee Wildlife Federation, one of the largest and oldest nonprofits dedicated to conserving the state’s wildlife and natural resources, received more than 2,500 deer donations to its Hunters for the Hungry program during the 2021–2022 season. These donations provided Tennesseans in need with more than half a million servings of fresh venison.
The last couple of years have shown Tennesseans are more than willing to come together to serve their local communities. Despite a significant decrease in total deer harvest across Tennessee during the 2021–2022 season, Hunters for the Hungry distributed 129,300 pounds of venison as a result of deer donations from Tennessee hunters. This included 3,360 servings donated to tornado relief efforts in northwest Tennessee.
We could not be more grateful for the hunters and processors
“We could not be more grateful for the hunters and processors who donated their time and effort to providing food for their community, even in times of hardship,” said Matt Simcox, Hunters for the Hungry manager. “None of this would be possible without the support of these community members.”
The program onboarded 13 new processors, increasing the number of total processors this year to 60. These partners are critical to the success of the Hunters for the Hungry program and volunteer a portion of their time in order to process donated deer. These newly added processors did a combined 246 donated deer, contributing 11,168 pounds of venison.
The program also provided 40,000 venison snack sticks for children through the BackPack program in Nashville. “Our partners say the students love the snack sticks and that it provides them with much needed protein over the weekends,” said Matt.
Since the program began in 1998, Hunters for the Hungry has collected more than 2.1 million pounds of venison, contributing more than 8.7 million meals to those in need across the state.