Today Governor Sonny Perdue recognized the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program and the success of the multi-agency initiative by serving the millionth meal to those in need at the Community Concerns Outreach Center in Atlanta.
“The success of the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program is evidence of what can be accomplished when our state agencies and nonprofit organizations work together,” said Governor Perdue. “Serving the millionth meal this holiday season reminds us all of the importance of giving to those in need by donating to our state food banks. It is our hope that through the continued success of this program, millions more protein-rich meals will be served to Georgians in need.”
Ground venison prepared in the form of chili, lasagna and burgers, donated and processed through the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program, has become a holiday staple on the menu of Georgia’s food banks for the past 15 years. Representatives from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Georgia State Association of Food Banks, the Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF) and the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) were on hand to celebrate this millionth meal milestone.
The Georgia Hunters for the Hungry (GHFTH) program begins each September at the opening of deer season, offering hunters across the state an opportunity to donate low-fat, low-cholesterol venison to benefit those in need. Participating processors collect and prepare the highly nutritious venison for statewide distribution through the Georgia State Association of Food Banks.
DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), along with the Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Wildlife Federation and the Georgia State Association of Food Banks sponsor the GFHTH program, providing hunters of all ages a unique opportunity to utilize their hunting skills to benefit others.
This season’s collection opportunities are ongoing and hunters can continue to make donations through Jan. 1, 2008. The following eight locations will accept donations through the first of the year:
· Hoboken – Big Creek Sausage Co., Inc., Rt. 1, Box 146-A, (912) 458-2120
· Jefferson – Sealey’s Deer Cooler, 5675 South Apple Valley Road, (706) 335-9304
· Sparta – Garner’s Grinder, Rt. 3, Box 464-2, (706) 444-9228
· Columbus – Daffin’s Meat Processing, 4100 ½ River Bend Road, (706) 322-8848
· Irwinton – Starley’s Deer Processing, 190 George Hatcher Road, (478) 946-8976
· Vidalia – Stewart’s Quality Meats, 204 Washington Street, (912) 537-9888
· Tifton – Safety-Rite Foods, 147 Ridge Avenue S, (229) 382-1242
· Douglasville – Douglasville Retail Meat & Smokehouse, 3749 Kings Hwy., (770) 947-6624
All hunters who donate a deer during this collection period will be entered into a drawing for a deer rifle, sponsored by the Georgia Wildlife Federation.
Over the past 15 years, participation has steadily increased, and since 1993 hunters have donated more than 7,000 deer, totaling more than 200,000 pounds of ground venison.
For more information on the GHFTH program, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com , contact a WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 761-3045. For more information on donating food to those in need, call the Atlanta Community Food Bank at (404) 892-FEED.