The Venison Donation Coalition in Steuben County, New York was organized in 1999 by sportsmen who developed a solution to their concern with hunger in their communities by supplying fresh, lean venison to food banks and food pantries throughout NYS. In the first year, 1000 lbs. of venison were processed and distributed to those in need. Eighteen years later, the program has grown to be one of the top programs in the Nation. An amazing accomplishment for a group of dedicated volunteers. The Venison Donation Coalition started out small and has grown to include a larger group of sportsmen, more farmers through NY Farm Bureau, municipalities, legislators and the Food Bank Association of New York State. Without the help of our partners we could not continue to do this good work. Unfortunately, 18 years later, there are still many individuals and families in need of help and the Coalition is standing strong to help.
This year, hunters are able to donate either the entire deer or a few pounds of it to the program. They only need to contact one of our participating processors and let them know how much they want to donate. There are close to 100 processors throughout the state working with the Coalition. The local food bank picks up meat from the processors and distributes to local member agencies – soup kitchens, food pantries, senior living, churches, etc.
The Venison Donation Coalition coordinates the processing an average of 70,000 lbs. of meat every year. This equates to almost 280,000 servings of highly nutritious meat to those in need. The program still has room to grow. There is need for new processors throughout the state. If you know of a processor who is not working with them, please ask them to contact the Coalition. The more processors they have, the more venison they can distribute to those in need. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this program could grow to over 100,000 lbs. consistently every year?
A hearty THANK YOU, to the founding members and ongoing supporters: hunters, farmers, processors, food banks, member agencies and all the individuals the work diligently with the Coalition. You made us one of the top programs in the country. Hopefully one day, programs like this will not be necessary. Today, they are, and the Coalition will be there as long as they are needed.
Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/venisondonationcoalition or visit their newly redesigned webpage at http://www.venisondonation.org.
The Venison Donation Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit organization that coordinates and funds the efforts of venison processing to feed the hungry throughout New York State. For more information, please call 1-866-862-3337.