Hunters Helping the Hungry Need Your Help!Les Giese Reader Submitted Lebanon—“It’s hunting season which is our chance to feed many hungry people in New Jersey but we can’t do it without the public’s help,” says Les Giese, co-founder and Board Trustee of the group. The Hunters Helping the Hungry Program was developed by Les Giese and other hunters during the 1997-1998 hunting season to help provide needed protein for local food banks while addressing the overpopulation of deer in our community. Ten deer (approximately 500 pounds of venison) were donated that first season. Close to 6,000 pounds have been donated in 2009 and in 2008 the total was 12,000 pounds. Since the program’s inception, hunters have donated over 219,000 pounds of venison to HHH providing approximately 876,000 servings of protein to those in need. “But we can’t pay the butchers to process the deer without donations from the public,” says Giese. Hunters participate in the program by donating deer through an approved butcher to the NORWESCAP or Ocean Monmouth Food Banks. Processing fees are paid to the butcher by the food banks from a fund consisting of donations and grants. Approved butchers are inspected by the State of New Jersey health department. Hunters not only spend time hunting and money for licenses and permits, but they also donate at least $25 of the professional meat processing fee when they drop a deer off for processing. Hunters in northwestern New Jersey are encouraged to donate deer to the NORWESCAP Food Bank in Phillipsburg while hunters in eastern New Jersey may donate their deer to the Ocean Monmouth Food Bank in Neptune. HHH is working on establishing butchers in the Mercer county area. After processing, donated venison is distributed by the NORWESCAP Food Bank and the Ocean Monmouth Food Bank to over 400 needy feeding charities throughout Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean, Warren and Sussex Counties in New Jersey and to America’s Second Harvest Food Banks statewide. Venison is low fat and low cholesterol and, of course, high in protein and a very valuable food product for distribution in the food bank system. According to federal government statistics 34 million Americans go hungry every day or are living on the verge of hunger, and 13 million of those are children. We can make a difference! HHH is a non-profit 501-c3 organization. A small group of volunteers sit on the board of HHH and receive no compensation for their efforts. All administrative duties are supplied by the volunteer board members. 100% of donated funds go to pay processing fees. Butcher processing fees are also discounted from normal retail fees by the approved butchers. Everyone who is a part of HHH, helps through their donations, volunteerism and generosity. Funds from HHH only pay for venison donated by hunters! HHH does not pay for any municipal depredation hunts or farmer depredation hunts. Many farmers do support HHH through generous donations or allowing hunters to hunt their property or requiring hunters who hunt their property to donate deer through this program. Donations to Hunters Helping the Hungry, Inc. can be mailed to HHH, P.O. Box 587, Lebanon, New Jersey 08833. To learn more about HHH visit www.huntershelpingthehungry.org To learn more about NORWESCAP, visit www.norwescap.org http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20091105/GETPUBLISHED/911050337/-1/newsfront/Hunters-Helping-the-Hungry-Need-Your-Help-
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