The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) thank the thousands of Missouri deer hunters who donated 238,920 pounds of venison to the state’s Share the Harvest program this past deer season, including 4,787 whole deer.
MDC and CFM also thank the participating meat processors throughout the state who grind the donated deer meat into ready-to-use packages, and the many sponsors who financially support the program.
Meat-processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local sponsors, along with statewide sponsors that include: Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Food Banks Association, and MDC.
The donated deer meat goes to local food banks and food pantries to help feed hungry Missourians all around the state. To get Share the Harvest venison, contact local food banks or food pantries.
Share the Harvest is coordinated by MDC and CFM. Since the program was started in 1992, it has provided more than 4.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians, including this past season’s donations.
In 2019, hunters donated 282,935 pounds of venison to Share the Harvest. During the past season, some meat processors were unable to take donated venison due to an increase in the processing of domestic beef and pork.
“Hunters started Share the Harvest because they saw a need in their communities and hunters remain the driving force behind this popular program that helps feed our fellow Missourians who are in need,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “We sincerely thank the thousands of deer hunters who support Share the Harvest, along with the many participating meat processors and sponsors who help make it possible.”
CFM Executive Director Tyler Schwartze added, “We greatly appreciate the hunters, processors, and sponsors for their support of Share the Harvest. The donated venison stays in the local areas where the deer were harvested so it truly is helping out neighbors in need.”
The National Institutes of Health state that children need protein in their diets for proper growth and development and adults need it to maintain good health. Yet many Missourians can’t afford or can’t get to good sources of protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri hunters can help provide those in need with high-quality protein in the form of naturally lean, locally harvested deer meat.