Pennsylvania Hunters Encouraged to Donate Deer Meat to Help Pennsylvanians in Need

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Hunters can help feed the more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians who are at risk for hunger by donating venison through the state-supported Hunters Sharing the Harvest deer donation program.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest helps hunters donate deer to be processed into ground venison and distributed by Pennsylvania food banks, soup kitchens and pantries.

“Nearly 600,000 Pennsylvania families face the reality each day of wondering how they’ll find their next meal,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig during an event to kick off the program today at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg, Dauphin County. “This is a prime opportunity for all hunters to help fight hunger in their communities by donating venison this holiday season.”

Hunters can take their deer to one of 90 participating meat processors throughout the state and donate any amount of their venison to the program – from several pounds to the whole animal.

New this year, the $15 tax-deductible contribution hunters were asked to pay to help cover processing costs is eliminated, thanks to support from sportsmen and major sponsors alike.

The Department of Agriculture, through the federal Emergency Food Assistance Program, contributes $1.35 per pound of donated venison to reimburse processors.

“Last year nearly 10,000 meals were provided by hunters donating venison through Hunters Sharing the Harvest,” said Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. “With the number of families looking for food assistance at record levels, this is an excellent opportunity for Pennsylvania sportsmen to make a donation of one of the most nutritious meats available and help provide great nutrition to families struggling with hunger.”

Pennsylvanians can also donate money to the Buck for the Pot campaign, which supports Hunters Sharing the Harvest. Corporate sponsorships are also welcome to assist with processing costs.

CONSOL Energy has significantly expanded its support by pledging to assist with processing costs in Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties, in addition to counties supported last year: Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

“Thanks to multiple regional sponsorship initiatives, we hope to reach even more people in need and fight hunger in their communities through Hunters Sharing the Harvest this season,” said John Plowman, executive director of Hunters Sharing the Harvest. “Each year we try to get more folks involved by expanding our county volunteer team and appointing qualified deer processors.”

Established in 1991, Hunters Sharing the Harvest today covers 53 participating counties and provides more than 750,000 meals annually to food banks, churches and social service feeding programs. Last year, hunters donated nearly 100,000 pounds of venison to more than 4,000 emergency food assistance agencies through the state’s 21 regional food banks.

To learn more about the program or for an interactive map and list of participating meat processors, visit, or call toll-free 866-474-2141.

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