Unexpected state funding shifts to fight the coronavirus pandemic left a significant funding gap for Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Hunters for the Hungry program. 

Hunters for the Hungry provides more than half a million servings of lean, healthy protein to Tennesseans in need each year. When hunters harvest a deer, they can donate it to Hunters for the Hungry at a participating processor. The deer is then processed, and the venison is delivered to hunger relief organizations to be distributed to hungry children and families. One deer provides as many as 168 servings of venison. 

With unemployment skyrocketing throughout the state, the demand on food banks and soup kitchens will be higher than ever before. And with schools shut down, children will be without Hunters for the Hungry snack sticks – a protein-packed, ready-to-eat food given to children at school to take home on weekends. 

Without state funding, the program cannot accommodate the increased need that is sure to come, and people could go hungry. 

People can help by making a donation at tnwf.org/hungry – $32 will provide 100 servings of lean, healthful venison to hungry Tennesseans.

During the 2019 season, 140,401 pounds of venison was donated to food banks and emergency shelters. That’s enough to provide 561,604 servings to families statewide. 

“There will always be a need Hunters for the Hungry can fill,” said Hunters for the Hungry program manager Matt Simcox. “But this year, there will be more families needing help than ever before.”

Visit visiting tnwf.org/hungry to make a donation. 

“It is simply not an option for our neighbors to go hungry,” said Kendall McCarter, chief development officer for Tennessee Wildlife Federation. 

Tennessee Wildlife Federation leads the conservation, sound management and wise use of Tennessee's great outdoors. Since 1946, the federation spearheaded the development of the state’s wildlife policy, advanced landmark legislation on air and water quality and other conservation initiatives, helped restore numerous species and introduced thousands of children to the great outdoors. To learn more, visit tnwf.org.

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