The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment encourages the general public to join hunters in the effort to provide processed wild game meat to local families in need. Last year, more than 23,000 pounds of venison was donated to food programs throughout Michigan – enough to supply more than 100,000 meals.
“Michigan’s first settlers often relied on hunters to supply fresh meat for survival. Today, we have the opportunity to continue that tradition by helping those who are experiencing hard times,” says Raymond Rustem, of the DNRE’s Marketing, Education and Technology Division.
Hunters can help in one of two simple ways. When purchasing a hunting license they can tell the agent of their interest to make a monetary donation to Michigan Sportsman Against Hunger (MSAH). The agent will add your donation to the overall cost. Secondly, hunters should consider taking and donating an extra deer through one of the licensed processors registered with MSAH. A list of processors can be found on the MSAH website: www.sportsmenagainsthunger.org. Many of these processors also participate in the “Give a Pound” promotion, where hunters can donate some of the ground venison from their processed deer. Venison donations can only be accepted if the processing is done by one of the participating licensed processors.
Individuals who do not hunt can also support this important program. Non-hunters can donate by going to the Michigan E-Store link from the Department’s website: http://www.michigan.gov/dnre. Click on the “Feeding the Hungry” button and fill in the information about your donation. Monetary donations are used to support the cost of processing the venison for distribution.
Donors are reminded to save any receipts or forms. Donations to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger can be used when itemizing income deductions on federal tax forms.