- News -
Towanda, Pa. – May 18, 2022 – For decades Hunters Sharing the Harvest has operated in Bradford County to support the community by providing donated venison to food assistance centers throughout the county. Those community organizations in turn augment their pantries with the critically important protein at no cost to their organization. That cost is deferred through sponsorship and additional funding streams. The Bradford County Commissioners Chairman Daryl Miller, Doug McLinko and John Sullivan recognize the immediate need for the assistance that HSH provides through their donations and have provided additional financial assistance to the organization to increase their capacity. The announcement was made by the commissioners and HSH during a check presentation and press conference at the Towanda Gun Club on Wednesday, May 18.
“We at HSH couldn’t be more thankful for this major funding commitment to support our mission in Bradford County,” said Randy Ferguson executive director of Hunters Sharing the Harvest. “Last season alone, Bradford County hunters donated 4,212 pounds of venison, providing over 22,000 servings of this lean and healthy protein source to the food insecure in Bradford County. The generous funds provided by the County will help us defray the processing costs associated with our efforts here this year and for hunting seasons to come.”
The allocation of $20,000 is the largest gift to date in Bradford County and it comes at a critical point in time when the organization has reported a season total of 187,426 pounds of venison donated statewide. These American Recovery Act county funds will be used to ensure that the donations are processed and delivered to the organizations that are positioned to provide the protein to those in the community who need food assistance at no cost to them. Chairman Daryl Miller understands that HSH can have an immediate impact stating “Hunter’s Sharing the Harvest provides those in need with another source and access to food within our County. We greatly appreciate the generosity shown by our county’s hunters donating their harvests and are happy to partner with HSH in their efforts.”
Since 1991, Hunters Sharing the Harvest has channeled hunters’ donations of venison to the food-insecure via an integrated network of participating meat processors, area coordinators and regional food banks. These donations have provided more than 10 million servings of lean, high-protein venison to food-insecure Pennsylvanians.
To donate a deer, the hunter legally harvests, tags and field dresses the deer before taking it to a HSH-participating processor. He or she then completes a simple donor receipt. The donor can keep the antlers and cape if desired. The venison is processed into ground burger and made available to regional food banks for pickup. There is no cost to the hunter to donate a deer. A list of participating processors by county can be found on the HSH website, www.sharedeer.org.
Hunters Sharing the Harvest’s nationally emulated operating model works because it ensures that participating processors are paid for their services. Most processors could not afford to donate their services due to the high costs of materials and manpower. The funding for this reimbursement program comes from the support of individual and corporate donors and sponsors, public and private foundation support and budgetary allocations from key partner agencies like the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
County coordinators are also needed in many counties without one presently. This key volunteer team represents HSH within their respective counties, informing the public and corporate sponsors of the various ways they can support HSH, and acting as a liaison between participating deer processors, hunters and food banks. “There is no better program that illustrates the good of hunters than HSH. When their personal venison harvest has been fulfilled, HSH is there to accept any additional deer beyond their needs and to deliver it to where it is needed most” stated Roger Kingsley, Bradford County coordinator.