Hunters donate 250,000 meals to needy through Hunter's Harvest P - - Jackson, MS

Hunters donate 250,000 meals to needy through Hunter's Harvest Program

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

"Dedicate your next hunt to a great cause", that's the philosophy behind one organization looking to combine Mississippi's two biggest passions: hunting, and giving.

"If you kill two deer, and fill your personal freezer, you've got an extra deer through those state tags to give to Hunter's Harvest," said Paul Davis, the Program Director of Hunter's Harvest.

Hunter's Harvest, in short, is a program where hunters can donate extra venison they don't want to the needy.

"We are a fairly new program," said Davis. "We started in 2011 with 7, and today we're up to 40 processors."

All you have to do is take the deer to a processor, like Dave's Custom Meats in Vicksburg. The Wildlife Federation takes care of the processing fee.

"The donations vary from year to year, depending on how the season goes. Like last year was a little slow because it was hot all year,"  said David White, owner of Dave's Custom Meats.

White has been with Hunter's Harvest since it started up in 2011.

"It holds both sides accountable. And the charity accountable, which is good, I like that," added White. "So we know that it's going where it's supposed to because we all have paperwork we have to keep."  

Charities in 56 counties, organized through the Mississippi Food Network, pick the meat up and distribute it to low-income families.

"Mostly what we deal in, is staple food items, because it's more affordable for us," explained Marilyn Blackledge, the External Affairs Director with the Mississippi Food Network. "Protein is a very expensive commodity for us. But that's the nice thing about Hunter's Harvest, is that it provides a nice, healthy, lean protein." 

"In Mississippi as a whole, you have about 400,000 families, including about 100,000 children, living under the poverty line," said Davis. "But you also have numerous amounts of deer." 

So far, 250,000 meals have been donated through Hunter's Harvest. And you could help out with the next one!

To learn more about which processors partner with the Mississippi Wildlife Federation for Hunter's Harvest, or to donate monetarily, you can visit the program's website.

You can also call Paul Davis, the Program Director, at 601-826-5042.

To donate food, money, or volunteer your time with the Mississippi Food Network, call Marilyn Blackledge, the External Affairs Director, at 601-260-8727.

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