Beginning with the 2014 deer seasons, caring hunters who annually help feed hungry Pennsylvanians by donating their extra venison through Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) will discover an easier process at virtually no cost. And their compassionate gesture will gain additional recognition as a valuable wildlife resource is utilized wisely.
Since 1991, Hunters Sharing the Harvest has accepted donated deer from hunters that are processed into ground venison by official HSH inspected meat processors, and distributed statewide by food banks to over 4,000 local soup kitchens, pantries, missions and needy families. The program’s yearly goal is to deliver 100,000 lbs. of donated venison which can provide more than 750,000 meals via social service programs. Hunters Sharing the Harvest is a POWA Supporting Member.
Effective this season, several major changes are being announced to further the objectives and success of the HSH program that should be welcomed by participating hunters throughout Pennsylvania – HSH is proud to announce the $15 deposit requested from donors when dropping off a deer has been eliminated.
The co-pay was necessary for many years when sufficient funds to reimburse butchers were unpredictable. Thanks to major gifts by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Consol Energy and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, along with exceptional yearly support of many major corporate sponsors, partners, sportsmen’s clubs and thousands of individuals, the registered nonprofit’s funding base has stabilized sufficiently for the HSH board of directors to take this action.
HSH looks forward to this change serving as an additional incentive for more hunters to donate even more deer into the system. Hunters will only have to deliver their deer to any HSH approved processor, and complete the short 3-part donation form. The processor will then process the deer for the food bank program and be reimbursed for contracted services by HSH after the season.
To make donating an extra deer easy, the HSH website maintains links with updated contact listings of all participating processors by county, along with local volunteer coordinators who are there to help, plus a toll-free telephone 1-866-474-2141 to access the same information.
In addition, thanks to an innovative partnership with Cabela’s Outfitters, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and Pennsylvania Game Commission, hunters who donate deer will receive a new version of the S.P.O.R.T. measuring tape with our thanks. This popular weatherproof item can be carried afield while hunting, and allows the hunter to quickly estimate weight of his harvest on site. While supplies last, all deer donors will receive the tape, as well as the collectible window decal sponsored by Bass Pro Shops with the charity’s letter acknowledging the donation following the season.
Furthermore, pilot projects launched in 2013 in Southwestern and Northeastern PA counties to completely cover 100% of processing costs by specific sponsors such as Consol Energy and Cabot Oil & Gas may be extended and expanded. All Pennsylvanians, whether they hunt or not are also urged to donate tax-deductible financial contributions to the HSH program to help meet deer processing costs. For more complete information please visit www.sharedeer.org.