Hunters can help needy with donations

Hunters can help needy with donations Successful hunters can help the needy this fall by contributing to the efforts of South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger.

The program's goal is to connect generous hunters with food banks that help the needy across the state.

Two food banks in the state supply more than 465 organizations in South Dakota with food. The organizations have a real need for red meat from deer and other big game, Sportsmen Against Hunger president Jeff Olson of Rapid City said.

"Our whole purpose is to get healthy venison to the people who really need it," Olson said. "We can't give the food banks enough meat."

During the past 10 years, the program has donated more than 45,000 pounds of venison, enough to supply 180,000 meals to needy South Dakota families, Olson said.

Hunters who want to help should:

* Call (800) 456-2758 to find a local processor enrolled in the program.

* Drop off the game at an enrolled processor. Tell the processor the game is for Sportsmen Against Hunger, and pay the reduced processing rate. Hunters can donate all or part of an animal.

Every donation is tax deductible, and hunters have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping needy South Dakotans, Olson said.

The Black Hills Sportsmen's Club, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, Black Hills Regional Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank of South Dakota sponsor South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger.

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