When they sat down at the dinner table on Thursday, Pennsylvania’s hunters had plenty for which to be thankful.
It’s prime time for Pennsylvania hunting and, with any luck, some game bags or ear tags have been filled already, or are nearly about to be.
But as hunters are giving thanks, they should know also they’re in a prime position to receive thanks for what they might choose to give.
Each year, the generosity of Pennsylvania’s hunters results in about 200,000 meals for the state’s hungry.
By donating venison through Hunters Sharing the Harvest – a program that works through a network of meat processors to channel venison donations to local food banks, soup kitchens and hungry families – hunters extend their helping hands to those in need.
And, once again this year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other partners are making it easy for hunters to help out.
The Game Commission again donated $20,000 to the program – money that enables Hunters Sharing the Harvest to accept venison donations without charging hunters.
In prior years, hunters who donated venison needed also to pay a $15 tax-deductible fee to cover deer-processing costs.
This partnership helped Hunters Sharing the Harvest in the 2017-18 deer seasons set a record for donations, when hunters donated 3,337 deer yielding 130,930 pounds of venison that provided 667,400 meals for people in need.
Through Hunters Sharing the Harvest, hunters have donated more than 1.3 million pounds of venison to the state’s hungry since 1991.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the agency is proud to partner with Hunters Sharing the Harvest, a program that exemplifies the generosity of Pennsylvania’s hunters.
“There’s no greater gift than feeding someone who is hungry, and our state’s hunters have stepped up to do that, time and again, by working through the program to generously donate meat from the deer they harvest to people in need,” Burhans said.
At a news conference to kick off the busiest season for venison donations, Hunters Sharing the Harvest Executive Director John Plowman thanked the Game Commission and others who have helped to make the program a success.
All deer donated through Hunters Sharing the Harvest must be processed professionally by a participating butcher. For information on where to take deer to be donated, or to learn more about the program generally, visit Hunters Sharing the Harvest’s Web site, www.sharedeer.org.