Each year, more than 8.1 million meals are donated to the needy from Hunters for the Hungry, an NRA-backed initiative that aids hunters who wish to share their excess harvest. The primary objective of Hunters for the Hungry is to help provide food for needy people and non-profit organizations that support our same goal. This month, I want to salute those who helped start the program, as well as everyone who participates in Hunters for the Hungry around the country.
Since 1991, Hunters for the Hungry has supplied hundreds of thousands of pounds of venison to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food banks across the United States. The deer are accepted by professional meat cutters who cut, wrap and freeze the venison. Meat is distributed at no cost to the recipients.
A major part of the movement since the mid-1990s, the NRA is one of the nation’s leading promoters of Hunters for the Hungry as a charitable organization, working closely with state programs and affiliates, connecting interested individuals with programs in their area and creating public awareness through education, fundraising and publicity. Not only does our website help connect hunters to processors, the NRA is also one of the largest funders of the movement, having given away more than $650,000 over the years to help process game and provide families with food, in addition to all the work we have done to promote the initiative.
The top five states for venison donations to Hunters for the Hungry are Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I tip my hat to the many partners that have made Hunters for the Hungry such a successful program. For example, Pennsylvania Hunters Sharing the Harvest, the largest of all the organizations supporting Hunters for the Hungry, last year donated 235,532 pounds of venison processed from a whopping 6,201 deer and four elk. NRA does its part supporting the Pennsylvania group via the Great American Outdoor Show, based in Harrisburg, Pa., along with a sizeable contribution from the NRA Hunter’s Leadership Forum (nrahlf.org). Additionally, the state of Virginia has emerged as a leader in the Hunters for the Hungry movement, with a solid network that has been in operation since 1991.
Don’t hesitate—donate your surplus venison and secure this vital food source for those in need. Learn how to contribute to Hunters for the Hungry at hfth.nra.org.