Hunters encouraged to share the wealth
Food banks may welcome donations of wild game as need for assistance increases
Each fall, tens of thousands of Ontario residents take to the field during moose and deer seasons, which provides them with an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy our valuable natural resources. Those who are fortunate enough to succeed are able to return home with nutritious wild game. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), reminds hunters across the province that any who may have a surplus of meat, should consider sharing this bounty by making a donation to a food bank in their community.
“In many cases, people have been hit hard by the recent economic downturn, and families may be struggling to put food on the table. Hunters are fortunate to have a chance to harvest their own meat, and many are in a position to share this with others less fortunate,” said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director.”Wild game is low in fat, high in protein, and we encourage anyone who has extra wild game in the freezer to think of the needs of others, particularly at this time of year.”
A recent report by the Ontario Association of Food Banks confirms that there has been a 19 percent increase in the number of people turning to food banks to make ends meet in 2009. In fact, it is estimated that every month, 375,000 Ontarians are forced to turn to food banks as the only alternative. By donating just a portion of the wild game harvested, hunters can make a significant contribution to families in reduced circumstances, who might otherwise have to go without meat in their diets, an expensive item that is not often available to local food banks.
In Ontario, all wild game that is not for personal consumption must be processed at a provincially approved and licensed facility. Some food banks may have a policy that does not allow them to accept wild game, and hunters should check to determine whether a donation of this type would be useful.
“The O.F.A.H. also wishes to remind our members across Ontario that in addition to donations of meat, local food banks have an ongoing need for other high demand items such as vegetables, dairy products and canned goods. The donation of wild game, when available, is an excellent supplement to the donations made by the food industry and individuals each year, and we encourage all anglers and hunters, hunt camps, clubs and others to consider supporting their local food bank,” said Reader. “For instance, hunters in the Toronto area should contact groups like the Scott Mission to discuss making a donation.”
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters and 660 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit conservation based organization in Ontario and the voice of anglers and Hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.