Hunters for the Hungry Experiences Funding Cut Due to COVID-19

Apr 6, 2020

Deer standing in the woods
Unexpected state budget changes to help fight COVID-19 has left a gap in funding for the Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program. 

Major Funding Gap

In March, Hunters for the Hungry experienced the brunt of unexpected state funding shifts due to the fight against coronavirus, or COVID-19. This reappropriation left a major gap in funding for our only program focused solely on providing free meals to children and families in need, Hunters for the Hungry.

More than ever, now is the time to make a gift to support Hunters for the Hungry and ensure that Tennessee’s most vulnerable don’t go hungry.

>>TAKE ACTION: Make a donation today—just $32 will provide 100 servings.

Hunters for the Hungry provides more than half a million meals a year to our neighbors in need. In addition to providing venison to food banks, Hunters for the Hungry also produces snack sticks for kids in low-income households to take home over the weekend.

For many kids, this is the only source of protein they will have.

“There will always be a need Hunters for the Hungry can fill,” said Hunters for the Hungry manager Matt Simcox. “But this year there will be more families needing help than ever before.”

The incredible impact of Hunters for the Hungry is made possible by generous hunters and donors like you. It is simply not an option for our neighbors to go hungry—please make a donation today to ensure this critical program can continue its life-changing work.

2019 Hunters for the Hungry Season Recap

The 2019 season saw a total of 140,401 pounds of protein-packed venison donated go directly to food banks, emergency shelters, and communities in need. That’s enough to provide 561,604 (more than half a million!) servings to families statewide. Thank you to all the generous hunters who made this possible!

Despite a record number of whole deer donations this past year—almost 3,000—the overall donated pounds dropped 3.4 percent.

“This season presented a number of challenges, but I can’t thank the hunters and processors enough for stepping up to make sure Tennessee families didn’t go hungry,” said Matt.

To ensure the safety of every donation, the Federation partnered with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to test every deer donated within Unit CWD and many of the donations made outside Unit CWD in Region 1. While there is no evidence CWD is transmitted to humans, the CDC still recommends against eating CWD-positive meat. Donations that tested positive for CWD were discarded.

You can ensure that the 2020 Hunters for the Hungry season starts off strong by purchasing Deer Coins early this year. A deer coin will cover the cost of processing a donated deer at any participating processor location. Makes a great gift and will help to feed hungry families that need it most.

>>LEARN MORE: How do Deer Coins work?

Feature photo by Benet Theiss

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