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Food bank network: Hunters keep neighbors in need in mind


October 16, 2018

Press release

The quiet rustle of Montana’s undisturbed wilderness invites hunters from far and near. Many hunters use this as time to enjoy the outdoors, spend time with family and friends, and fill their freezer for the upcoming year. But what happens when the animal is too large and the freezer is too small?

Hunters Against Hunger, a partnership between Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Food Bank Network, allows hunters to donate a portion or all of their legally harvested big game animals to authorized meat processors located throughout Montana. The meat is then processed into venison and provided to the nearest local food pantry, providing much needed food for those in Montana struggling with food insecurity. 

Since its inception in 2014, more than 130,000 pounds of meat has been donated through the program and distributed across the state through 29 local food pantry sites. Meat is an extremely expensive commodity for food pantries to provide yet, a highly nutritious resource for their clients.

“We have never in my time here had this much game. Truly a huge gift” said Jill Holder, operations manager at Gallatin Valley Food Bank.

Participation by local meat processors and hunters are the keys to success for this growing program. Big game donations — deer, elk, antelope, moose and wild buffalo — can only be accepted as part of the program by authorized participating meat processors set up around the state. Only legally harvested or confiscated big game animals can be donated.  No road kill can be donated.  A full list of authorized processors can be found at the Montana Food Bank Network website at https://mfbn.org/

To offset the cost of processing, hunters purchasing a Montana hunting license are given the opportunity to make a monetary donation to this program. Additional donations to the program are being accepted by the Montana Food Bank Network.

For more information, contact the Montana Food Bank Network at (406-721-3825


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