Division of Wildlife Supports Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry With Grant


COLUMBUS, Ohio – December 22, 2022 – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has contributed $25,000 in a grant to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to support local food banks with donated venison. The organization will use the funding to pay for white-tailed deer harvested by hunters to be processed and distributed to charitable organizations in Ohio. Additional funding will be secured by the organization with a goal to match or exceed the amount provided by the grant.

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, assisted by the Division of Wildlife’s grant, covers the processing cost for deer donated by hunters for the program. FHFH expects to pay the processing cost for 350 deer with this grant alone, each of which yields approximately 50 pounds of venison and 200 meals.

“I’m proud that the Division of Wildlife and Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry can combine their resources to put even more venison on the table for the people who need it most,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker.

The Division of Wildlife collaborates with FHFH to assist with the processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank. Hunters who harvest a deer and would like to donate the venison can bring it to one of approximately 30 certified deer processing shops in Ohio, which will process the deer and donate it to a verified charitable organization that offers food assistance for underprivileged individuals and families.

This program encourages the harvest of deer for the purpose of wildlife management in Ohio, as well as provide for the wise and charitable use of the wildlife resource for direct public benefit. Hunters can find a list of processors participating in the FHFH program at feedingthehungry.org. Hunters wishing to donate their deer are not required to pay for the processing of the venison, provided the program has available funds.

Ohio’s deer archery hunting season is open until Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The muzzleloader season is from Saturday, Jan. 7 to Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. Hunting licenses and either-sex deer permits are available on the HuntFish OH app, at wildohio.gov, or at any license vendor.

Venison is a lean meat with high nutritional value. The Wild Ohio Harvest Community provides a variety of delicious recipes for deer, turkey, fish, and small game. Check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Cookbook for ideas on cooking venison and other wild game.

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.