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Indiana hunters have chance to help the hungry this season

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 12:20:11-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An opportunity for Indiana hunters to help those in need is back this year as firearms season opened over the weekend for deer hunting.

Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb today joined the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana on Tuesday to highlight Indiana Hunt for Hunger.

Indiana Hunt for Hunger turns donated deer into healthy venison that is provided to Hoosiers through food banks like Gleaners across the state.

“Indiana Hunt for Hunger combines two time-honored Hoosier traditions—deer hunting and helping our neighbors in need,” First Lady Holcomb said. “As you’re out hunting across Indiana this season, if you’re lucky enough to harvest a deer, or possibly even two, please consider donating it to be turned into healthy venison for Hoosiers experiencing hunger.”

In the past, the program has been called Sportsmen's Benevolence Fund.

“Too many Hoosiers are struggling to put food on the table. Our member food banks around the state are serving record numbers of families,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “Items like protein can be unaffordable on a tight household budget, creating a high demand for it at our food banks. By hunters taking an extra deer and donating it through Hunt for Hunger, Hoosier food banks and pantries will have more healthy protein to share with our friends and neighbors this deer season.”

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The meat from one deer can provide 200 meals for a family.

To participate, take a field-dressed harvested deer to any of the 50-plus participating meat processing sites in the state.

The processor then will take the processed meat to area food banks. Indiana Hunt for Hunger pays the processing fees.

“Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry sincerely appreciates the past financial support provided by the Indiana DNR’s Sportsmen’s Benevolence Fund,” said Suzie Jordan, executive director of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. “This support has allowed our agency to pay for the deer harvested as part of our program to be processed and provided to food banks and pantries throughout the state. Over 500,000 pounds of venison has been shared through this partnership. As the name changes to Hunt for Hunger, we can increase the awareness of the partnership between our nonprofit agency and the Indiana DNR to strengthen and expand the knowledge of our mission to Hoosier hunters, our processors, and food banks throughout the state.”

If you are a processor with interest in joining the list, you can contact Capt. Jet Quillen at or by phone at 317-232-0658.