LEWISTON, Maine — Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb and representatives from Walmart met Monday to recognize the contributions of local hunters in support of a program to address hunger in Maine.
Walmart employees from the Lewiston area presented Commissioner Whitcomb with a $14,750 check to support the Hunters for the Hungry Program.
Thirty-seven Walmart employees from the Lewiston area signed up for the program to hunt deer, bear, and moose and raise money. The volunteers contributed 2,099 hours over a period of months hunting, and raising awareness and money for the cause. Their contributions were part of a Walmart Foundation initiative, Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP).
Commissioner Whitcomb thanked Walmart employees, and spoke briefly about its importance. “Walmart’s contribution is symbolic of the type of support this program receives annually from hunters throughout the state. I can’t say enough about the role Maine sportsmen and women play in helping provide nutritious meals to hungry people across Maine. Events like this help build awareness of the great need for additional supporters and contributions that feed Maine families. Every day the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry brings citizens throughout Maine together in so many ways, and this is one of them,” said Whitcomb.
The Hunters for the Hungry Program is part of the Department’s Emergency Food Assistance Program. Established in 1996, it has grown steadily and provides thousands of nutritious meals to hungry people across the state. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry distributes donations to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and households with a medical need. It is done in cooperation with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s wardens, Maine State Troopers and caring hunters, are all working towards a common goal of helping fellow Mainers.
The program accepts bear, deer and moose donations. Road kill donations are accepted, provided the meat is not damaged. Hunters do not pay for the processing of donated meat. Meat processing costs are paid for by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry or the charity that receives the food.
Hunters choosing to keep their game can still donate a few pounds to the program. Meat processors that are interested in getting involved with the program and learning how it works should call 207-287-7513.
For more information, to donate, or to get connected to a Hunters for the Hungry participating meat processor call toll free, 1-888-4DEERME (1-888-433-3763)
For more information about The Emergency Food Assistance Program: http://www.maine.gov/
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to:www.maine.gov/acf