Success Story: 2055 Lbs of Venison Donated
One of the most needed and difficult to obtain category of food in the food bank system is meat. Food banks have surplus supplies of shelf stable items but are typically short on protein. At the same time, farmers in Madison County and the rest of the state are often plagued with an overpopulation of deer. The damage to crops in the state is overwhelming. NC Cooperative Extension partnered with farmers, food banks, local meat processors and a program called Back Yard Bow Pro to design a program that sets the infrastructure in place for seamless venison donations. Fundraisers were held to raise money for the processing fees and farmer meetings were conducted to describe the program and match hunters with landowners. Madison County Extension also supports the program with freezer space and transportation of products. To evaluate the program, each landowner as well as each hunter is enrolled in the program and every pound of meat donated is weighed and tallied. Twenty five farmer/hunter partnerships participated in the program donating over 2500 pounds of venison to the food banks in the Madison County area representing 10,000 meals!