HELENA – The Montana Food Bank Network has collected $85,000, a record donation amount, through Hunters Against Hunger.
Hunters can help fight local hunger by donating any legally harvested big game animal to local food banks through the program.
Established by the 2013 Montana Legislature, the program allows people purchasing a hunting license to donate $1 or more to a fund that helps to cover the processing fee of the wild game that is donated to Montana food banks.
Last hunting season, Helena Food Share received 3,146 pounds of meat through the program and $4,300 to help with processing fees.
Development Director Daneal Lightner said the meat provided is a huge help for local families in need.
Lightner also stressed the importance of donating to the Hunters Against Hunger fund because once the fund runs out of money, the processing cost burden falls upon the food banks.
Hunters are able to pay the processing fee upfront as a tax donation.
Tizer Meats butcher Michael “Griz” Martin said Helena is a very giving community that wants to help people in need and each year he sees a lot of hunters donating their animals.
Each elk processed by Tizer Meats is turned into more than 100 pounds of hamburger for Food Share.
Martin added he’s personally proud to know the work he’s doing goes to people who really need it.
“You see people every day standing at Walmart with signs and needing help, you know food is probably one of the bigger things they need,” said Martin.
For more information about Hunters Against Hunger, including a list of processors statewide, visit here.
-John Riley reporting for MTN News