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Sportsman’s Pantry Program Ready

From an acorn last year, this program has now become a seedling. It is poised to grow rapidly.

The Sportsman’s Pantry is filling the space once held by the old Hunter’s For the Hungry program. That program has been reduced to 12 locations where a sportsman can leave a pack of processed venison. Deer donations are not being accepted under the old program.

The Sportsman’s Pantry program currently supports 14 locations where sportsmen can donate a field-dressed deer for processing and donation to the needy.

The following is an e-mail from one of the Sportsman’s Pantry deer processors to one of the local charities.

“Hey Marti, its Debra from Wise Brothers Deer Processing. We have 55 pounds (of ground venison) ready for pick up. If there is any way you can get it today that would be awesome, we need the freezer space. If not, we understand. Just let me know.”

Debra is the organizer and scheduler at Wise Brothers Deer Processing on Bush Road., in Savannah, and one of the cooperators in the Sportsman’s Pantry program.

The program links local sportsmen and local deer processors with the local food charity community.

Under the old program, all donated venison went to one of only five warehouses in the state. Local end-users like Marti did not have personal contact with sportsmen or with local processors. Consequently, the benefit for sportsmen of fostering a positive view of hunting to the broader community and of giving sportsmen a useful place to take deer that they needed to harvest to manage their land was lost.

In this case, Marti is the director of the charity, and he communicates directly with the local processor, even picking up the venison at the processors. This close communication saves Marti and his charity both time and money. The trip is shorter to the processor because the processor is local, and even at the food bank, the charity has to “shop” for food and pay a very modest price.

And the processor gets needed freezer space cleared quickly. This is an important benefit to many coolers.

Sportsman’s Pantry is being supported and is growing with the help of GHFF, GA SCI, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and Sportsman’s Heritage Network.

If you would like to donate a deer, please keep the cooporating processors below in mind.

If you would like to help fund and establish a local program in your area, please contact the program at sportsmanspantry@gmail.com

The program will run through the season, or until the donated processing money runs out.


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