"We figure it takes about $1,000 to process 30 deer," Wilson said. "Although we are happy with the response, we are worried about funding."
The venison is being made available to Food Resources Inc., which will distribute the meat to other charitable organizations and food banks, and ultimately to people in need.
Food Resources Inc., is the nonprofit food warehouse on Eldridge Drive in Hagerstown that serves as a distribution center.
The deer meat will be picked up from the processors by Food Resources Inc. and distributed to its member agencies.
Wilson said meat is the least available food item for agencies serving the hungry. Venison is a low-fat, high-protein meat.
Hunters and others can participate in two ways:
- Churches, businesses and individuals are being approached to pay for the processing costs of venison, which is about $30 per deer.
- Hunters are being asked to donate deer to the feeding program directly.
Ernst Market in Clear Spring, Holsinger's Meat Market in Maugansville and Woodlawn Farms in Sharpsburg have agreed to process the venison for the program.
Wilson said the goal this year was to raise enough money to process up to 166 deer. He expects the numbers to soar when the traditional rifle hunting season begins in Maryland and nearby Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
As Maryland's deer herd continues to grow, the bag limits have been raised to help control the population. Many successful hunters may have more venison than they can use, Wilson said.
Here's a rundown on the remaining hunting seasons:
- Bow season for bucks is in progress and runs through Jan. 31, 1998.
- Deer/firearm season in Maryland for bucks is Nov. 29 through Dec. 13.
For more information on the Hunters Feeding the Hungry program, call 301-582-4223.
Checks can be made payable to Hunters Feeding the Hungry or to Christ Lutheran Church with a notation for Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
In addition, donations can be made to other churches and designated for the program. These will be forwarded to Christ Lutheran which is serving as the clearinghouse, Wilson said.