Illinois deer hunters donate 6 tons of venison from 2023-24 season – Outdoor News

Champaign, Ill. — Illinois hunters came out in full force during the 2023-24 deer season, giving a total of 12,187 pounds of venison to the 2023-2024 Illinois Deer Donation Program.

More than 300 deer were donated. The harvested deer helped more than 50 food pantries across a 16-county territory in east-central Illinois, providing 48,748 meals of protein to individuals and families. Officials noted that the cost of meat has risen in past years and fresh (frozen) meat is not always available at food pantries. Partners and sponsors of the deer program provides free venison to support food access and nutrition security.

“Food pantries are receiving lean ground meat, which was sparse previously,” said Tracy Bowden, SNAP-Ed Educator. “This program connects hunters, meat processors, food pantries, and the communities we serve.”


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