The Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger has taken the idea of "feeding the hungry" to heart and has made a significant effort in this regard. In a concerted effort to feed the hungry in the Great Lakes State since 1991, this organization has partnered with hunters, wild game processors, food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, and other organizations.
Just under 100,000 pounds of venison were provided by the hunters who support this initiative in 2020 alone. The amount donated increased to 107,000 pounds the following year. According to representatives of the group, more individuals went hunting, and those who did spend longer time in the woods during the pandemic-related lockdowns increased donations.
Hunters also purchased more hunting licenses online, where they could contribute to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger and assist in covering the costs associated with processing donated deer.
The Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger's executive director, Dean Hall, has been contributing to the organization's worthwhile work for almost 23 years. He claimed that giving to those in need is a long-standing custom among hunters.
He stated that it has always been significant to bring food for others. "Look back to the days of the pioneers, when there were hunters in every settlement who would go out and hunt for the community.”
And they gave those who were too elderly, sick, or incapable of hunting special treatment. Simply said, hunters have always done it.
Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger has provided nearly a million pounds of processed venison burgers to locate nonprofit food banks and pantries over the course of its existence. This donated venison is thought to have provided nearly four million wholesome meals for those in need.
According to Hall, there is a large demand for this lean, organic, and healthful type of protein. Lean protein is far more difficult to obtain, although food banks and pantries frequently receive sizeable donations of bread, pasta, peanut butter, and chocolates.
To maximize its utilization and make it compatible with a variety of meals, including chili, spaghetti, lasagna, casseroles, sloppy joes, tacos, etc., all of the donated venison is ground into ground meat.
When it comes to protein, he continued, "The shelters, food banks, and pantries are in severe situations." "It is a pretty important issue. Since it comes from a deer, some locations might be a little hesitant at first, but after we demonstrate how to utilize it, everyone just adores it.”
The extent of the requirement was recently shown by research done in Michigan. According to the survey, about 1.8 million residents in the state either needed or sought food aid. People 60 and older made up about 20% of that population, and children were present in nearly 40% of households that were dealing with some sort of food scarcity.
Nearly 60% of those who requested food help said they occasionally had to choose between buying food and the prescription medications they required. Nearly seven in ten households who experience persistent hunger reported having to make a trade-off between buying food and paying their utility bills occasionally.
We never consider this program to be a handout; instead, we like to think of it as a hand-up, according to Hall. "There are times in life when people find themselves in a situation where they don't have enough food or they can't give the nourishment their family needs, either through no fault of their own or perhaps as a result of just one terrible mistake they made once."
According to Hall, the demographics of individuals in need of food assistance can shift as the nation's economy fluctuates, but there are always people who lack access to a balanced diet.
We've discovered that there are a lot more grandparents taking care of grandchildren these days. These people might probably need some assistance if they are on a fixed income, according to Hall. "We consider this effort as uplifting, to the heart and spirit of both those who provide the food and those who receive it," the author said.
The United Sportsmen of America, the National Deer Association, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and the United Methodist Men, among other hunting and conservation organizations, support Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger's work, which is coordinated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
There are many kinds, of a kind, and sympathetic people behind this, according to Hall. "Most hunters are more than happy to share their venison with people in need once they have enough in their freezers to feed their families. Asking hunters for assistance is not at all difficult to sell.”
The website sportsmenagainsthunger.org has further details about the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger initiative.
The Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry ministry performs a comparable humanitarian activity in Ohio; details about this initiative can be found on the feedingthehungry.org website.
A nationwide non-profit with over 30 chapters in Ohio, Whitetails Unlimited, also accepts donations of venison. Local WTU chapters use regional funding for a range of initiatives, such as providing venison to the less fortunate. For additional information, go to the whitetailsunlimited.com website.
Since 1991, more than two million pounds of meat have been donated through Pennsylvania's venison donation program Hunters Sharing the Harvest. On the website sharedeer.org, you may get more details.
The Safari Club International founded Sportsmen Against Hunger more than 30 years ago, and it is currently run in all 50 states, several regions of Canada, and numerous other nations. The website safariclubfoundation.org/humanitarian-services has information.
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