LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Hunting season is still a couple months away, but Hunters for the Hungry is fundraising right now so families in our hometown can have fresh venison.
"We tell people we take deer and dollars and put the two together to make a difference in someone's life," Gary Arrington, the co-director for Hunters for the Hungry, said.
As hunting season gets closer, the local non-profit is raising money to process donated meat after the deer has been harvested.
"We'll take those deer and then have the meat skinned, cut, wrapped and frozen by professional processors," Arrington said. "And then we'll facilitate getting that meat to missions, churches, food banks, and other feeding programs all across Virginia."
One of those organizations is Feeding America Southwest Virginia.
"We're always always always looking for sources of lean, healthy protein that we can give our clients," Amanda Allen, the food bank's marketing and communications coordinator, said. "And a big source right there is deer meat."
Over the last 28 years, Hunters for the Hungry has distributed more than 6.9 million pounds of processed meat.
"Which is over 27.7 million servings that's gone to men, women, and children who struggle with hunger," Arrington said.
While Hunters for the Hungry relies on hunters to donate the deer, they also rely on monetary donations.
"While the deer are a renewable resource, we have to renew those every year. So we can't process the deer unless we have those dollars in place."
Thursday, August 22, many of those dollars will be collected at the Lynchburg Hillcats.
"So an event like what the Lynchburg Hillcats folks have embraced here for over the last 7 years now has been tremendous," Arrington said. "I mean in this single event, we have raised $23,738. That has allowed us to process and distribute 106,825 quarter-pound servings which kind of breaks down to a meal for men, women, and children."
All that food makes a huge impact on families in southwest Virginia.
"Last year, through Hunters for the Hungry, we received about 3.800 pounds of deer meat, so that's really helpful for us to be able to provide for families," Allen said. "And since we serve throughout Southwest Virginia, about 118,000 people a month, that makes a difference."
Arrington invites everyone to wear their "camo for a cause" and go to Hunters for the Hungry night at the Lynchburg Hillcats. Game starts at 6 p.m.
Groups can purchase sponsorship ticket bundles from Hunters for the Hungry and there will be a raffle drawing for hunting equipment
Gary Arrington can be reached by phone at (434) 942-9827.
Lynchburg Hillcats information can be found on its website.
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