Next to Thanksgiving, the first day of deer hunting season is one of the more popular days in November around here. And as we enter the holiday season, local hunters are using their passion for hunting to provide much-needed meat for families in need.We’ve all heard the advice about eating a balanced diet, but that can be particularly difficult for those struggling to put food on the table. According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, people who “don’t have enough food or have to choose inexpensive foods with low nutritional value, seriously impact their health.”
Not only can malnutrition lead to adult health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, it can also lead to learning difficulties in children.
Meat is a high-nutritional food that many food banks struggle to provide for their clients. And that’s where organizations like Hunters for the Hungry step in to help.
The organization was established in Virginia in 1991 by David Horne, who saw the potential in hunters donating venison, which could be processed and distributed to the hungry to help meet their nutritional needs. According to their website, Virginia hunters “have been able to provide over 26.6 million quarter-pound servings of venison” in that time. Their goal this year “is to provide 325,000 pounds of venison to people in need in Virginia.”
Some years are harder than others when it comes to getting deer donations. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reports that Hemorrhagic Disease (HD) and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) have impacted deer populations across the commonwealth with minor impacts in the Northern Neck at this time. However, they still report relatively low to moderate “deer abundance” in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. Added to that, local hunting ordinances designed to help the whitetail populations recover further limit the hunter’s ability to get “extra” deer.
“Most hunting days are ‘buck hunting only,’ and it has limited the amount of deer we’ll get,” said Charlie Fox of Northern Neck Meat Processing in Miskimon. Fox’s facility is one of three collection and processing centers in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula for the Hunters for the Hungry program.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Westmoreland News 12/5/18