season just around the corner, hundreds of thousands of hunters in West
Virginia are preparing to head into the woods. Hunting, obvious to any
native West Virginian, has always been an important part of our culture
here in the Mountain State. Many do this for sport, to connect to our
ancestors or teach a new generation where food really comes from. What if I
tell you that hunting can also help those in need? With nearly 268,070
people struggling with hunger in West Virginia, we at Mountaineer Food Bank
are encouraging hunters to combine their love of the outdoors through the
Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program.
Now in its 28th
season, the HHH program has become vital in our effort to help West
Virginians struggling with hunger. The program, with the aid of the
Governor’s One Shot Committee, coordinates the donation, processing and
distribution of venison through participating meat processors all over the
state. The venison that is received by the Mountaineer Food Bank and Facing
Hunger Foodbank is then distributed through a network of feeding programs
in West Virginia. This is all done with no cost to the hunter or the West
Virginia tax payer. Instead, the Governor’s One Shot program covers the
entire cost of the program through privately raised funds.
In 2018, hunters
once again stepped up to the challenge, donating 685 deer to the program
resulting in 24,378 pounds of venison. Overall, hunters have donated 26,387
deer or nearly 1.4 million meals, to families and individuals throughout West
Virginia. Point blank, that is a lot of meals for West Virginia families.
With protein being one of our biggest needs here at the Mountaineer Food
Bank, we can’t express enough how big of an impact this program has on
families and individuals struggling to put food on the table.
partnerships like these, it is a struggle to provide lean, nutritious
commodities to those who need it most across our state. Instilling a
balanced, healthy diet is important to everyone. That is why we are asking
for hunters and everyone fortunate to be able to provide for their family
to step up to the challenge this holiday season. This partnership, with
generosity of West Virginia’s hunters, is essential to giving back to our
friends and neighbors who have fallen on hard times. We’re proud to be
partnered with this program for another year, and we hope to exceed last
year’s donation of 24,378 pounds of venison.
We are thankful
for our partners, the Governor’s One Shot Committee, the West Virginia
Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia Department of Natural
Resources. We are even more appreciative of our hunters. If you
participated last year, we thank you for stepping up to make a difference.
New hunters interested in donating can designate their deer to a
participating meat processor, or you can help by making a financial
donation to the HHH program. For more information, make sure to stop by http://www.wvdnr.gov/Hunting/HHH. Our
partners and the Mountaineer Food Bank stand ready to assist you.