Food Donations to Hunters for the Hungry Down

Lynchburg, VA - Hunters for the Hungry says donations are down. The organization provided more than one million servings of deer meat to those in need last year, but the number was still lower than years past.

Donations are the meat and potatoes of helping 17,000 people through the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

Inside the Lynchburg location, you'll find plenty of potatoes, but hardly any meat.

"Ground deer. Steaks, chops, roasts," Food Bank Manager Jim Scrivener said of the food that is low in quantity.

"Right now we don't have any and have not had a tremendous amount [of venison] this year," Scrivener said.

Donations to Hunters for the Hungry were down 28% last year.

"While we believe Hunters for the Hungry was going on in the hearts of hunters, it just wasn't necessarily going through our program," said Gary Arrington with Hunters for the Hungry.

Arrington says they hear lots of reasons from hunters who had donated during previous seasons.

"The derecho last year. I lost a lot of meat, my freezer went out. They were telling us also they were going to put an extra deer or two in their own freezers this year, just because of the economy," Arrington said.

Many say the economy is causing some hunters to spend more time at work, and less time in the woods.

"We had hunters reporting from Northern Virginia, to Southside, to the eastern part of the state, that they were seeing fewer deer in their outings of field," Arrington said.

The few packs of meat that did end up in the food bank freezer were in high demand, according to manager Jim Scrivener.

"It usually once we get it, it doesn't last, maybe three or four days before it's all gone," Scrivener said.

The Hunters for the Hungry program also relies on money to help process and package the venison donations.

August 29 will be Hunters for the Hungry night at the Lynchburg Hillcats.