Deer season is underway in Georgia, and hunters looking to donate their kill once again have an easy option.
The Georgia Wildlife Federation administers the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program, which allows hunters to drop off their deer with designated processors. Those processors in turn deliver ground venison to food banks.
The federation discontinued the program two years ago due to lack of funding. Now it’s back, thanks in large measure to a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation.
That's good, because cheap, high quality protein is hard to come by, said Eliza McCall with Second Harvest of South Georgia in Valdosta, the second-largest food bank in the state.
"For us to be able to get these donations from Georgia’s hunters is just fantastic, to get that venison. You know, it’s a very nutritious meat, it’s lean," she said.
The program has enough funding this season to process about 60,000 servings of deer meat, or up to 20,000 pounds, said Ga. Wildlife Federation President and CEO Todd Holbrook.
Hunters can find a list of drop-off points in this year’s state hunting regulations booklet.
"If they get ahold of a copy of the hunting regulations as produced by the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, and look on page 34, they’re going to see a list of a dozen meat processors where they can drive to and leave their deer," Holbrook said.
Deer seasons runs until January 1 in the northern half of the state, and January 15 in the southern half.
Drop-off locations this year include:
Daffin’s Meat Processing, 914 Neil Drive, Columbus, 31904, 706-322-8848
Sealey’s Deer Cooler, 5675 S Apple Valley Rd, Jefferson, 30549, 706-335-9304
Starley’s Deer Processing, 190 George Hatcher Rd, Irwinton, 31042, 478-946-8976
Stewart’s Quality Meats, 204 Washington St, Vidalia, 30474, 912-537-9888
Lee’s Processing, 461 Dove Ln, Axson, 31624, 912-422-3079
JJ’s Deer Processing, 974 GA Hwy 105, Baldwin, 30511, 706-776-2819
Mossey Creek Outdoors, 2788 Americus Hwy, Dawson, 39842, 229-995-4109
Barlow’s Meat Processing, 1692 Milan-Eastman Rd, Eastman, 31023, 478-374-5614
Lee Processing, 105 Hwy 377, Leesburg, 31763, 229-759-2869
K&K Processing, 6749 Good Hope Rd, Naylor, 31641, 229-269-5557
Buck deer Processing and Taxidermy, 231 Smithfield Rd. N, Leesburg, Ga. 31763, 229-869-0832
Garner's Grinder, 18639 Hwy 16, Sparta, GA 31087, 678-858-8857