MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages hunters to donate Wisconsin-harvested deer to the department’s Deer Donation Program. The program helps stock food pantries for the upcoming holiday season and supports residents in need throughout the state.
Since the program began in 2000, hunters have donated almost 100,000 deer, totaling more than 3.8 million pounds of venison distributed to Wisconsin food pantries.
Through the Deer Donation Program, the DNR works with partnering meat processors to distribute thousands of pounds of donated venison to Wisconsin food pantries.
“Wisconsin hunters have an important opportunity to support families in their communities during the deer season through the Venison Donation Program,” said Brad Koele, DNR Wildlife Damage Specialist. “Whether you harvest an extra deer or donate the only deer you shoot, we thank all deer hunters, meat processing and nonprofit partners who help make this program a success for those in need.”
Those looking to support the Deer Donation Program can also do so through a monetary donation when purchasing a hunting or fishing license or a Wisconsin State Park pass.
Food Insecurity In Wisconsin
Approximately one in 12 Wisconsin households did not have enough food before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, and research shows this number continues to rise, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Food Security Project.
Additionally, the Wisconsin Food Security Project reports that food insecurity makes it harder for children to thrive in and out of school, increases the risk of health problems for children and adults, makes it more difficult to manage chronic conditions and contributes to short-term and long-term stress for children and families.
Visit the DNR’s Deer Donation Program webpage to learn more.