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DONATED DEER: Feeding Hungry Iowans

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The 2012-2013 hunting season marked the 10-year anniversary of a program which is trying to alleviate the problem of hunger in Iowa.

Help Us Stop Hunger (HUSH), is a joint effort from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Food Bank of Iowa. The program allows hunters to donate legally harvested deer to local food banks and pantries.

This accomplishes the dual goal of providing hungry Iowans with food and reduces the deer population. Since its inception the program has donated 2,354,696 pounds of venison.

“We asked our hunters to harvest additional deer to reduce the herd size and the HUSH program gave them an option to donate the additional venison to help their fellow Iowans in need,” says Jim Coffey, coordinator of the HUSH program for the DNR.

Today, one in eight Iowans do not have the means to obtain adequate food to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and one in five children do not have enough food to eat. These facts make the HUSH program critical to helping feed Iowans in need.

“We are so grateful for this partnership and program,” says Carey Miller, executive director of the Food Bank of Iowa. “It has helped put a high protein, low fat product into the hands of hungry Iowans.”