Indiana deer hunters did their part to help feed the hungry through the Sportsmen’s Benevolent Fund. They donated 1,333 deer during the 2015-16 season, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Those donations were coordinated through Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Indiana Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club. Each organization got a DNR Law Enforcement Division grant that permitted them to coordinate with licensed deer processors, who ground the venison into two pound packages of burger.
It was then collected by food banks and distributed as needed to feed families across the state. They handed out more than 63,000 pounds of venison at a cost of $1.27 per pound. It provided 269,356 meals were provided at the cost of $0.317 per meal.
Sen. Mike Crider founded the Sportsmen’s Benevolent Fund in 2008 when he sat as the Law Enforcement Division Director. He co-authored legislation to publicly fund the program in 2013.
“This program gives our Indiana deer hunters additional purpose to enjoy the outdoors and harvest a deer to assist our citizens in need,” Crider said in a statement. “Our deer population is managed well, our hunters are provided with more opportunity and our citizens are provided very high protein meals for nourishment, it seems like a win, win, win situation for all of us”.