Hunters Sharing the Harvest Feed the Hungry in Pennsylvania for 23 Years

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (EYT) – Venison fuels a program to help feed the hungry, providing hunters and families who have more venison than they know what to do with an option to make a gift of the meat.

‘Sharing the Harvest’ Background

Since 1991, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest venison donation program (HSH) has coordinated the processing and distribution of donated wild game from hunters and municipal herd reduction sources to hungry people throughout Pennsylvania.

An average-sized deer will provide enough highly nutritious, low-cholesterol meat for 200 meals. This sportsmen-inspired community service outreach effectively channels this wholesome venison product via an integrated network of approved deer processors and food banks down to the most local charitable provider organizations in our urban and rural communities. HSH has evolved as a respected partner with deer management practices throughout the Commonwealth.

Bill Hearst is regional coordinator for Clarion County and Rev. Tim Spence for Jefferson County.

For more information, contact Hearst in Clarion at 814-221-9708 or [email protected], or Spence in Punxsutawney at 814 938 9422 or [email protected]

‘Sharing the Harvest’ Background

Based on a unique concept developed by Pennsylvania hunting interests, the program’s yearly deer season accomplishments are based on the cooperation of our dedicated volunteer county coordinator base, board of directors, legislators, state and local agencies, in concert with our colleagues from a dedicated outdoor news media. All these components work together with a common mission to maximize the best utilization of a valuable wildlife resource to help others needing food assistance.

The HSH program is a registered 501c3 non-profit charity, with funding and support primarily derived from a mix of public and private sources. Individual financial donations also come from generous hunters and non-hunters who uphold a strong belief in supporting the outreach effectiveness of their own brand of social service.

Coincidentally, it has developed into the preferred nationally recognized model many other states have now replicated. From its inception, HSH was founded as the signature mechanism for Pennsylvania hunters to demonstrate their own personal and compassionate decision for helping those low-income individuals and families with extra venison. Many wildlife management units in Pennsylvania offer multiple deer tags, longer seasons, and special hunting opportunities that result in extra deer being donated by sportsmen and women.

Hunters Making a Difference

HSH remains as the most effective social-service program conduit for hunters and wildlife managers to directly make a difference, often from actions that take place in the fields and forests.

More than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians are classified as food insecure, with the recent economy downturn only escalating the need and requests for food assistance. In an average hunting season, the HSH program’s goal is to channel about 100,000 pounds of processed venison annually through the state’s 20 regional food banks; who then re-distribute to more than 4,000 local provider charities such as food pantries, missions, homeless shelters, Salvation Army facilities, and churches as well as families.

For more information about the program, visit ShareDeer.org.


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