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Hunters donate deer meat for families in need

Hunters in Pennsylvania donate deer ever year for families in need as part of a program called "Hunters Sharing The Harvest." (WJAC)

HUNTINGDON -- Hunters in Pennsylvania donate deer ever year for families in need as part of a program called "Hunters Sharing The Harvest."

On day two of deer season, Huntingdon County coordinator Willis Sneath said that he hauled 14 deer to Brenneman's Meat Market.

"If you don't have a large family, you might not want all that meat, so we encourage the hunters to share that with the needy," Sneath said.

Brenneman's processes the meat and passes it along to local food banks and organizations, including the Huntingdon Food Bank, Mount Union Food Bank, Southern Huntingdon Food Bank and Hopewell Food Pantry.

Since 1991, hunters and the Pennsylvania Game Commission have donated "mistake kills," or extra deer the hunters don't need.

"Last year, we did more than a thousand pounds of meat. This year, I'm expecting to do maybe two thousand," said Joseph Brenneman, who owns the meat market with his wife.

Sneath said the packages of venison provide meals for families of about five people each, and the meat can be used to make various dishes, including spaghetti sauce, chilli or burgers.

"Venison is high protein, and it actually has less fat than what most beef products have, so it is a really healthy food, and provides a lot of nourishment to the needy," Sneath said.

This year, he said about 650 pounds of venison have been donated so far.

"I'm overwhelmed with the hunters that do donate their deer they're very generous to do that and I thank them," Brenneman said.

To donate, hunters can bring a deer to the meat market, or make monetary donations.

Other local participating meat processors include McCready's Deer Processing in Hollidaysburg and Rising Spring Meats & DP in Spring Mills.

A $10 donation provides 40 meals, according to the organization's website.

The website said checks should be payable to: PA Hunters Sharing The Harvest and addressed to Att: John Plowman, Exec. Dir., 6780 Hickory Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17112.

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