Program connects hunters with food pantries and soup kitchens across the state
AUGUSTA – With hunting season underway, Governor Paul R. LePage urges Maine hunters to consider supporting the Hunters for the Hungry Program by donating all or part of their harvest to feed families in need. The popular program provides a means for hunters in Maine, as well as other states, to donate to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and households with a medical need.
“The Hunters for the Hungry Program is a way that Maine hunters can pursue a sport they love and help their neighbors at the same time,” said Governor LePage. “The fact that this program has grown so steadily is both a testament to the need and the generosity of Mainers.”.
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb noted that since its establishment in 1996, the Hunters for the Hungry Program has grown steadily and provided thousands of nutritious meals to hungry people across 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. The Department is working to 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. 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 also 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).