Op-Ed: Venison Donation Program Demonstrates Generosity of Pennsylvania Sportsmen

Pennsylvania enjoys a rich tradition of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation that has been passed down from generation to generation. One of the qualities that makes Pennsylvania’s community of sportsmen truly unique is the spirit of cooperation, generosity and good will that helps bring us all together.

There is no better example of the incredible heart of Pennsylvania’s sportsmen than the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program, an initiative that encourages hunters to donate some or all of their venison to local food banks to help feed the hungry. The program relies not only upon the skill and generosity of hunters, but also on the cooperative efforts of processors, volunteers and sponsors who help make sure the venison is delivered to food banks and other charitable food organizations to help individuals and families in need.

In an average hunting season, the program directs about 100,000 pounds of processed venison to local food banks, resulting in up to 750,000 meals to be distributed to needy families. Hunters Sharing the Harvest reached two important milestones in 2016 – 25 years in operation, and more than a million pounds of venison donated. I appreciate all of the hunters, processors, donors and sponsors who have helped make this program such an amazing success.

The program also accepts monetary donations to help feed the hungry. Each tax-deductible donation of $10 provides 40 meals for those in need. A memorial contribution in memory of a family member or friend who was an avid sportsman is a popular way to pay tribute to a loved one while helping feed the hungry.

It is heartwarming to see how these generous food donations have impacted the lives of needy individuals and families. I strongly urge local hunters to consider making a donation to this worthwhile program in the future to help families who are less fortunate. More information on the program is available online at www.sharedeer.org.

CONTACT:  Jeremy Shoemaker (717) 787-4651