Through the nonprofit organization, Hunters for the Hungry, Virginia hunters help hungry families get quality meat by donating their surplus game.
Hunters throughout the state of Virginia can participate in their sport and ensure that the meat does not go to waste by donating it to Hunters for the Hungry which then distributes venison to people in need through local food providers like food banks.
The program helps control the deer population in Virginia while also preventing deer meat from going to waste. While whitetail deer were only present at a rate of 1 per square mile in the early 20th century in Virginia, their numbers have rebounded to 25 per square mile today. As a result, Virginia deer hunters have one of the highest success rates in the nation.
The meat is prepared by Linthicum Custom Slaughtering and Deer Processing and then donated to FFO. It’s important that meat is professionally processed to ensure that it is handled in a sanitary, safe manner before it is passed on to clients. In 2019, Food for Others received 1, 143 pounds of venison through Hunters for the Hungry.
“We want to help food banks get some high protein food for the hungry” said Misty Boyd, co-director of Hunters for the Hungry. “There are a lot of generous hunters out there helping us make a difference.”
Their donations help us provide high quality meat for our clients. Venison is high in protein and contains less fat than beef. It’s also a good source of B vitamins, iron & zinc.
For families who may not know how to utilize venison in their kitchens, Hunters for the Hungry provides preparation instructions and recipes.
One easy recipe for families to make using ingredients from Food for Others is venison stew:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 pound venison, cut into strips
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the venison to the skillet; cook and stir until evenly browned. Stir the tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme, sage, tarragon, and salt into the mixture; cover the skillet and allow the mixture to simmer until the venison is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.