In the beautiful state of Maine, where hunting is not only a tradition but a way of life, an inspiring initiative is quietly making an impact in local communities. We’re talking about the “Maine Hunters for the Hungry Program,” an endeavor that encourages hunters to donate their game meat to local food pantries, providing a vital source of nutrition to neighbors facing food insecurity. While this is an amazing gift to any hunger-relief organization, there are several rules and regulations surrounding game meat donations.
Maine Hunters for the Hungry Program
Founded in 1996, the Maine Hunters for the Hungry Program is a collaborative effort from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Warden Services, state biologists, Maine State Troopers, and hunters. There are a limited number of food assistance sites with the capacity to accept wild game meat, so it is extremely important to read all the donation requirements carefully.
The program accepts bear, deer, and moose donations. Processors are carefully chosen and have established a direct relationship with food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. It’s all about keeping it local and ensuring that the meat goes directly to neighbors.
How you can donate:
Visit the Maine Hunters for the Hungry website: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/tefap/hunters_for_hungry.shtml
It is your go-to resource for more information about the program, a list of approved meat processors, and other valuable resources. Links are available to learn more about Do Not Eat advisory areas, field dressing, and properly caring for the meat, as well as a game donation form that needs to be filled out.
The Maine Hunters for the Hungry Program embodies the spirit of giving and community support. Through the collaboration of hunters, approved meat processors, and local hunger-relief organizations, this program provides a much-needed proteins to individuals and families facing food insecurity. By adhering to the rules and regulations outlined by the program, hunters can ensure that their generous donations reach those who need them most.
So, whether you’re a seasoned hunter or simply caring individual, consider getting involved with this initiative in Maine. Questions can be sent to H4H@Maine.gov.
Hunters for the Hungry Program FAQs: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/ard/tefap/docs/h4h-faq.pdf