Maine’s Hunters for the Hungry Program continues to be a unique, cost-effective way to feed those less fortunate statewide, organizers said. The program’s impact has steadily grown since its inception in 1999.
Donations of bear, deer and moose are accepted from hunters and provide a valuable protein source for community kitchens, pantries, shelters,or households with a medical necessity. The donations help support nonprofit organization clients by providing meat rich in vitamins and minerals with a third of the fat of beef. One deer can provide approximately 110 meals.
The program, a cooperative effort between the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program, provides a means to get hunters, wardens, processors and hunger relief organizations working toward the common goal of helping neighbors.
To participate, local and visiting hunters call a toll-free number and get connected to a regional, participating processor. The Department of Agriculture and the processor coordinate a pickup from the local hunger relief organization or arrange storage in Augusta for future distribution.
Those who want to participate or to receive more information on the Hunters for the Hungry Program may call 888-4DEER-ME, 888-433-3763.