Gov. Jay Nixon was in Salem today at the Faith Mission Food Pantry to help unload 1,200 pounds of venison donated by Missouri hunters through the Share the Harvest program. Share the Harvest is a public-private partnership that for 20 years has helped provide venison to families in need through food banks and food pantries across Missouri.
"Hunting is ingrained as a family tradition for many Missourians. There's also a legacy in Missouri of helping those in need, as demonstrated by the great work done here at this food pantry and other food pantries and food banks across the state," said Gov. Nixon, who harvested a deer in Pulaski County last month and, for the third year in a row, contributed meat to Share the Harvest.
"Share the Harvest combines this long-standing tradition of hunting with the generosity of Missourians to help put nutritious meat on the tables of families, and that is especially appreciated during this holiday season," the Governor said. "I want to thank all the hunters across Missouri who contributed venison to Share the Harvest and made a real difference for the people of the Show-Me State."
Administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Share the Harvest encourages hunters to donate their deer to needy Missourians. Share the Harvest reimburses participating meat processors for a portion of the cost of butchering and packaging whole deer donated by Missouri hunters.
During the last hunting season, approximately 6,100 deer were processed through Share the Harvest, resulting in more than 350,000 pounds of venison for needy families. That was an increase over the 4,600 deer donated for Share the Harvest in 2009, and the 4,200 in 2008.
To help feed even more families through the program, Gov. Nixon announced last month that the Missouri Association of Food Banks would be investing $150,000 to directly support the continued growth of Share the Harvest. That funding is part of an additional $1 million the association is receiving from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which is administered by the state.
To learn more about the Share the Harvest Program, please visit MO.gov.