A charitable organization is calling on hunters to help feed families in need during the holiday season.
Hunters for the Hungry, a statewide program that provides much-needed protein to local food banks for distribution, has recently hit a snag in the collection of deer meat, according to one local participant.
Rev. S. Roy Foster, reverend of Upper Essex Baptist Church, said his Hunters for the Hungry unit at Rayz Way Express has seen perhaps the lowest number of donations since the program began.
According to Foster, his unit in Champlain had gone from receiving 223 total deer three years ago to roughly 100 last year.
“This year, our numbers are lower than that right now,” Foster said. “We’ve been doing this for 15 years or more, so they know where we are.”
Foster cited a need for more coordinated efforts between regional hunt clubs to get together one day out of the week and donate however many deer they kill that day to the program.
“When that happens, our numbers go way up, and we get deer that we can get back into our community, to people in need,” Foster said.
Northern Neck Meat Processing’s Charlie Fox, as of Dec. 9, Fox said they’ve have taken in 27 deer amounting to a total of 750 pounds, which he called an average number at this time of the hunting season.
He anticipates that the donations will “jump tremendously” when people are able to take off work during the holidays.
Fox said that the deer they process goes straight to the Northern Neck Food and is distributed to clients and household where the need for venison is most prevalent.
“The deer is so lean and they try to help a lot of people that are diabetic, because it’s better for them,” Fox said, adding that the program largely benefited needy children.
“We have a lot of kids around that might go without if it wasn’t for the program, especially during…
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