Every year, Michigan hunters donate thousands of pounds of venison to processors that partner with Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger (MSAH). The meat is then distributed to families and individuals in need.
In 2019, hunters have donated a record amount of venison—surpassing last year's total and reaching the highest total on record, according MSAH.
Processors that work with the organization reported a total of 54,157 pounds of venison that had been processed and donated so far this year. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018, processors recorded just over 52,000 pounds.
Hunters have already donated more venison than previous years, and the year isn't even over yet.
MSAH works with processors to distribute the venison to 88 different Michigan food pantries, food banks and shelters. In 2018, this translated to over 208,000 hot meals for Michiganders.
In West Michigan, Barb's Deer Processing in Comstock Park said they helped distribute nearly 2,000 pounds of donated deer meat last year.
"It is just wonderful,” said Barb Haveman, the processor's owner. “Our sportsmen are really wonderful, wonderful people. Men and women both.”
Hunters either donate extra meat they can't eat, or some donate the entire deer if they don't like to eat venison.
MSAH works in 28 counties across the state. Michigan's firearm deer season runs from Nov. 15-30.
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