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Sharing the Harvest: hunters donate unwanted meat to foodbanks

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Countdown to the Big Game on WOWK
February 07 2021 06:00 pm

WARNING: This story includes graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing.

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – As deer season starts in West Virginia, the season of giving is also in full swing. As hunters head off into the woods in hopes of bagging a deer, meat processing businesses also prepare for this year’s harvest.

Across the Mountain State, hunters can donate unwanted meat to local participating meat processors to benefit families and individuals in need through the “Hunters Helping the Hungry” (HHH) program.

Lavalette, West Virginia resident and hunter Michael Frye has participated in the HHH program in the past, donating a couple of deer to local food banks. He says even donating excess or unwanted meat from a kill can help many who are struggling, especially during the pandemic.

The people who live in the community that I live in, (with) the Coronavirus… not everybody’s working. People that are back to work, they’re still behind.

Michael Frye, Lavalette, WV resident and hunter

For some hunters it’s all about the hunt, but having the opportunity to help out their community is an added bonus. Frye says he loves to hunt and often gives away the meat from the game he’s killed to his local community.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) says more than one million pounds of meat has been donated since the program began in 2007.

Several meat processors across the state, including Nelson’s Meat Processing in Cabell County, are offering to process, grind, package, and freeze the venison.

“Feeding America” organizations like the Mountaineer Foodbank in Gassaway and Facing Hunger Foodbank in Huntington will then pick up the venison and distribute it to areas in need.

Frye says he has moved to process his own meat but encourages other hunters to take part in the HHH program as he has in the past.

For more information on where to donate unwanted meat, click here.

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