Tim Godbee, as appeared on www.fhfh.org
Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry – Why use wild game, deer and elk, to feed the hungry?
The answer to this question is actually very simple. Venison is a healthy substitution for beef, and can be used in exactly the same way you would beef.
The abundance of venison is very obvious, just look out your car window as you drive across our nation. How often do you see deer when you travel? How many deer, or rather deer carcasses have you seen on the roadside? If you are seeing anything similar to what I see, you’ve likely lost count by now. In western states, (and some eastern) elk may not be as populated as deer but many of the same problems still effect them.
The use of wild game that is professionally processed by a licensed and inspected facility has become widely recognized as a benefit, not only to those who are less fortunate, but as a benefit to tax payers as well. Government agencies that buy all types of food items supplying food banks are not normally responsible for the bill on processed game animals. This work is paid for through various fund raising programs and financial donations from the caring public and businesses throughout our country, thus eliminating the tax burden on our citizens.
There are many more benefits to these and other Venison feeding programs with the same goal. One of those is the possible reduction in car v/s deer collisions. In the reduction of these type accidents, we should see lower car insurance premiums.
Many states in the U.S. have long hunting seasons, and many of those have very liberal bag limits. Most hunters don’t need more than 2-3 deer per year, however some of these hunters may reach that personal limit early in their respective season, which may or may not limit the amount of time they are able to enjoy their sport. With programs like FHFH, there are so many benefits that it is time consuming to try and identify all of them, however I will add this…FHFH and other hunter charity programs have done a lot to change many negative opinions about hunters and hunting as a whole. Negative opinions will always be there, but that is another article.
FHFH is a Christian Ministry program with the focus of providing meat, venison to the less fortunate among us. Founded in 1997 by Rick Wilson of Hagerstown, MD, FHFH has spread across America and now has some 80 chapters operated by local coordinators. The venison donated by hunters to FHFH is then donated to local food pantries and soup kitchens. However, like life there have been exceptions to the local focus.
In 2005 the Gulf Coast was hammered by hurricanes. Americans, just like we always do, stepped up to help. FHFH was no different.
Northern Arizona Food Bank Director and FHFH area coordinator Kerry Ketchum devised a plan to provide the Gulf region with meat from across the country. In the end, thousands of pounds of frozen deer and elk meat were delivered to several areas affected by the hurricanes.
With each chapter of FHFH being directed by local Volunteer coordinators, you may ask what drives the ministry to be so successful. Each coordinator is where he/she is because of their love for God and their willingness to do the work He leads them to do. FHFH focuses on helping those who need it, nothing else, all the other benefits are just a result of doing what is right.
As you finish this article, stop and think for just a moment about how fortunate you may be, and then think of the thousands of Americans who will go to bed hungry tonight. Please take time to say a prayer for those who need both our and your assistance.