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Indiana Hunt for Hunger: Helping hungry Hoosiers during deer season

Hoosier hunters have a way they can help the hungry this deer season through Indiana Hunt for Hunger. (Provided Photo/Indiana Department of Natural Resources)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hoosier hunters have a way they can help the hungry this deer season.

Indiana Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb on Monday joined the Department of Natural Resources at Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis to remind hunters of Indiana Hunt for Hunger.

Previously called the Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund, the Department of Natural Resources began the program in 2008, and turns donated deer into venison that is distributed to food banks across the state.

Holcomb said during the announcement, “Indiana Hunt for Hunger combines two time-honored Hoosier traditions—deer hunting and helping our neighbors in need. As you’re out hunting across Indiana this season, if you’re lucky enough to harvest a deer, or possibly even two, please consider donating it to be turned into healthy venison for Hoosiers experiencing hunger.”

The program’s announcement comes as deer season kicks into full swing, and the need for protein donations remains strong.

Emily Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, says the state’s food banks are serving “record numbers of families” this year.

“Items like protein can be unaffordable on a tight household budget, creating a high demand for it at our food banks. By hunters taking an extra deer and donating it through Hunt for Hunger, Hoosier food banks and pantries will have more healthy protein to share with our friends and neighbors this deer season,” Bryant said.

The donations work by hunters taking their field-dressed harvested deer to a participating meat processing site. The processor then takes it from there, turning the deer into venison burgers and donating it to area food banks. Indiana Hunt for Hunger says it will pay for the processing fees, so hunters don’t have to deal with extra costs.

Participating processors can be found on the program’s website.

Processors interested in joining the list are asked to contact Capt. Jet Quillen at or 317-232-0658 for more information.