Hunting season in Pa. has begun, and hunters will take to the woods both for recreation and to fill their freezers for the winter. If you have a successful hunting season and wind up with more venison than you can handle, consider donating to Hunters Sharing the Harvest.
Hunters Sharing The Harvest is a nonprofit venison donation program in Pennsylvania that invites hunters to share their extra venison with others experiencing hunger and food insecurity. A statewide network of participating butchers deliver the meat to food banks across Pennsylvania. Butchers who participate in the program are paid for their services through sponsor-supported donations. They help to coordinate the meat deliveries to the local food banks. In turn, the food banks redistribute the venison to more than 5,000 local food assistance provider organizations such as food pantries, missions, homeless shelters, hunger-relief organizations, and churches.
These distribution centers play a vital role in helping to fill the gaps for families and individuals at risk of hunger. Since 1991, Hunters Sharing the Harvest has distributed 1.2 million pounds of donated venison.
How to donate a deer
Drop off a whole deer at one of our participating processors found closest to where you live or hunt. (There is no fee to donate a deer thanks to support from the PA Game Commission, major gifts from the natural gas industry, and exceptional yearly support of major corporate sponsors, partners, sportsmen’s clubs, and thousands of individuals who have contributed financially over the years.)
Related reading: Game Commission increases donation to Hunters Sharing the Harvest
When you donate a deer, they ask that you sign a receipt provided by the butcher so he/she will be reimbursed at the agreed to rate for processing the donated venison for the program.
To find an HSH participating processor, please consult the by-county deer processor page for shop locations, or call toll-free to (866)474-2141 for more information.
All meat donations qualify for tax deductions. If you are not a hunter, you’re still encouraged to donate a tax-deductible financial contribution to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program to help meet the cost of processing deer for the program.