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Buckeye Farm News
Through OFBF’s “Farmers Feed Our Needs” campaign, farmers are combining with partners to help hungry and less fortunate Ohioans.
When Coshocton County Farm Bureau Board Member Jim Childress learned about the campaign, he knew one way his county Farm Bureau could make a difference.
Being a deer hunter, he knew of his local Farmers and Hunters Feed the Hungry (FHFH) program, whereby hunters donate harvested deer to be processed for local food pantries. Childress’s wife, Evelyn, said the program was right up his alley.
“The wasting of meat is really upsetting to Jim,” she said, adding that a lot of hunters just want to hunt trophy deer for their racks and will leave meat to spoil. “When he comes back from hunting and sees dead deer just lying there, he always says, ‘some hungry people could have used that.’”
Through a partnership with FHFH, Coshocton County Farm Bureau urged local farmers and hunters to provide unwanted harvested deer to help feed the hungry. Free to hunters, the $40 to $75 processing fee was funded by grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and supplemented by money from Coshocton and Knox County Farm Bureaus.
During this past hunting season, six FHFH-approved local processors accepted and processed 256 deer harvested in parts of Coshocton, Holmes, Knox and Wayne counties for the program.
The Childresses volunteered to deliver the meat from the processors to six pantries. The donated venison provided 46,580 individual meals for Coshocton County residents.
“People don’t realize it when we tell them the pantries fed 150 people per day in the county,” Jim said. “We are opening eyes about the need to get hungry people food that would otherwise go to waste.”
He said plans are to continue the program in 2009.
“We hope all our Farm Bureau members can take this program to heart,” he said. “If every two farmers could donate three or four deer (from their property), it would really feed a great amount of people.”