Hunting season is in high drive here in Charleston and so is the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program. Each fall, Mountaineer Food Bank partners with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources in Charleston to promote the HHH program in West Virginia.
The 2011 season marks the program’s 20th consecutive year. Since it began, generous hunters and financial contributors have enabled the processing of 20,184 deer. That has allowed 769,582 pounds of highly nutritious meat to be made available to needy families and individuals throughout West Virginia.
Hunters participating in the program take their deer to certified meat processors where it is turned into two-pound packages of ground venison. The Mountaineer Food Bank, loocated near Charleston in Gassaway, and the Huntington Area Food Bank, both members of Feeding America, collect the venison and then distribute it to the needy through their network of qualified charitable food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, shelters, community centers, orphanages, missions, and churches statewide. Financial support for the HHH comes from concerned individuals, businesses, conservation organizations, foundations and churches.
The West Virginia Council of Churches has established and promoted a Share the Harvest Sunday in November. Participating churches asked members to contribute one dollar, five dollars or whatever they can afford to the HHH program. Since Share the Harvest Sunday was implemented, a substantial amount has been donated to the HHH program and plans are needed to expand this worthy venture to all churches that wish to participate. (Click here to view Share the Harvest Sunday letter),
A friend of mine, an avid hunter and a participant in the HHH program, said:
I always donate to the HHH folks. Animal lovers of all kinds – of which I am one – should take into account that deer hunting is actually a useful and necessary activity, without which the deer population would soar to such levels the adults and their babies would starve in a slow, painful death. In addition, due to urban sprawl, deer wander onto highways and into towns where they are a danger to both drivers and themselves. Often, a deer will be hit by a car and suffer a broken limb, leaving it to lay by the road for days in terrible pain until it slowly dies.
Individuals, churches, organizations and businesses can ensure the perpetuation of HHH through their generous monetary donations. These donations are accepted throughout the year. Checks or money orders can be made out to Hunters Helping the Hungry and mailed to:
Hunters Helping the Hungry
DNR – Wildlife Resources Section
P.O. Box 38
French Creek, WV 26218
For more information concerning the HHH program, or to discuss tax-deductible donations, contact Gene Thorn or Judy Channell at 304-924-6211 or E-mail email@example.com.