Hunters need to help feed the Hoosiers

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – Hoosiers feed the starving is aiming to give all Hoosiers a basic human right, access to nutritious food.

According Feed America, one in eight Indiana residents struggles with hunger, or 883,260 people. More than 274,000 of them are children.

As deer season begins in Indiana, the nonprofit is calling on hunters to help end this outbreak. The association is appealing for donations for its Hoosier’s Feeding the Hungry’s “Meat” the Need initiative – a program where hunters donate deer and other types of meat.

Debra Treesh, executive director of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, said WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that the average deer can give about 200 meals.

“It’s one of the most important and expensive nutrients for families to get, and it’s the most difficult commodity for food banks to get,” Treesh said.

Ten years ago, Treesh started Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry with 250 pounds of meat and a partnership with a meat processor. At the time, she didn’t realize how much protein Indiana’s food banks needed.

“Protein is just [an] expensive part of everyone’s diet, we get a fair amount of crisps, we get bread, we get canned goods at our food drive, we get a lot of produce from retailers, but the one thing we don’t ‘don’t get a lot of protein,’ said John Wolf, CEO of Community Harvest. “For the deer, we get about 50 pounds of food, and it costs about $50 to $80 to process that deer.”

Donors won’t have to worry about the cost of treatment, as Hoosier’s Feeding the Hungry partners with 85 processing plants across the state to cover the expense.

Hunters donate to participating meat processors, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry pays for processing, and then the meat is donated to hunger relief programs, such as Community Harvest Food Bank and the rescue mission.

Hunters are allowed to select a specific organization or region to donate their meat to, and they don’t have to donate the whole deer. Treesh said a few books helped a lot.

If you are not a hunter and would like to donate cash, click here.

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