(Photo courtesy: Missouri Department of Conservation)

JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri deer hunters donated 235,169 pounds of venison to the state’s “Share the Harvest” program this past deer season, including 4,936 whole deer, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

The donated deer meat goes to food banks and food pantries across Missouri to help feed those in need. Meat-processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local sponsors, along with statewide sponsors that include Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Feeding Missouri, and the MDC.

Share the Harvest is coordinated by the MDC and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) and has been helping feed hungry Missourians for more than 30 years. Since the program was started in 1992, it has provided nearly 5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians. To get Share the Harvest venison, you can contact local food banks or food pantries.

“Hunters started Share the Harvest more than 30 years ago because they saw a need in their communities. Hunters remain the driving force behind this popular program that helps feed our fellow Missourians who are in need. We sincerely thank the thousands of deer hunters who support Share the Harvest, along with the many participating meat processors and sponsors who help make it possible,” said Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“The donated venison stays in the local areas where the deer were harvested so it truly is helping out neighbors in need. We greatly appreciate all the citizens of this great state that have made this possible over the past three decades,” said Tyler Schwartze, Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

You can find more information on Share the Harvest, HERE.