This month many people are counting down to hunting season. When hunters get your license this year, they can donate $1 to the Venison Donation Coalition.
Since 1999, the program has provided more than 3 million servings of meat to hungry families through partnerships with regional food banks. Staffed by volunteers, the coalition uses 95 cents from every dollar donated to pay for processing costs.
Donations can be made at local Town Clerk’s offices or anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold. When buying a license, inform the Department of Environmental Conservation Automated Licensing System (DECALS) licensing agent that you wish to make a donation to support the Venison Donation Program. All donations through DECALS are deposited directly into the Venison Donation Fund. Donations are also accepted through the secure website www.venisondonation.org or by sending a check payable to: Venison Donation Coalition, Inc., 3 East Pulteney Sq., Bath, NY 14810. The donation is tax deductible.
Hunters who want to donate meat need to connect with an approved processor. The coalition has a processing locator on its website, however there is only one processor listed for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Warren counties. If you are a processor or know of someone who may qualify, please contact the Venison Donation Coalition using their toll free number: (866) 862-3337.
The regional food bank that covers the Adirondacks is located in Latham.
According to the coalition’s website, “The food banks pick up the ground venison from the participating processors and distribute it through their member agencies (soup kitchens, food pantries, churches, senior living, etc.) to those in need.”
For more information about the distribution of donated venison, contact the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York at: 965 Albany-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110; call 786-3691; fax 786-3004; or email info@regional