The 2018-2019 Hunters Against Hunger Season was wildly successful!
An unprecedented 45,000 pounds of nutritious wild game, including elk, antelope, deer, moose, and bison, was donated, processed, and distributed through the Hunters Against Hunger Program during the 2018 – 2019 hunting season.
This valuable program, in partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, allows individuals to donate part or all of their legally harvested wild game completely free of cost to the donor at local participating meat processors.
The resulting meat is a vital (and otherwise very costly) protein that is added to food boxes and stocked in freezers at local food pantries in 26 different communities.
We had a record 30 donation sites this year. Participating meat processors across the state are essential to this program’s success. Without their hard work and dedication this program could not exist. We hope to continue to grow in the 2019-2020 hunting season by increasing that number by developing partnerships with meat processors in new communities around the state where there have previous been no donation sites (we are looking at you Southeast & Northwest Montana).
Also contributing to the success of the program is the hunters who donated this year. This program could also not exist without their generosity and talents in procuring animals to donate to the program. We are also indebted to local FWP game wardens who diligently work to ensure that confiscated animals are donated and that important wild game is not wasted.
Since the program’s inception in 2013 an average of 40,000 pounds of game a year has been donated and filling several of our Network Partners freezers around the state to provide an average of 33,000 meals annually.
This program is also funded by hunters. The funds used to process all donations is collected by an optional donation on all Montana hunting licenses. These donations are so impactful because participating meat processors are still compensated for their time and hunters can donate worry free, without the burden of additional costs. We hope that all continue to check the box to donate to the Hunters Against Hunger Program when obtaining their hunting licenses each year.
If you are not a hunter there are still other ways to get involved, such as sharing the program with any hunters in your family or friend circle, educating any out of town visitors on the donation process, or making a donation to MFBN’s Hunters Share Fund, which helps provide even more wild game to families in need.
Looking forward to seeing you out there next season under those wild Montana skies!