Whitetails Unlimited recently awarded Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry a grant to be used to serve Indiana residents. These funds will help Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry pay processing fees for large game and livestock donations within Indiana.

There are many Hoosiers out there who are working full-time, trying to pay their bills and afford to put enough food on the table to feed their families. According to the latest Feeding America Map, the Meal Gap report, a third of Indiana residents who are food insecure can’t qualify for assistance. Protein, an important component of every cell in the body and one of the most important nutrients for brain and body development in children, is also the hardest commodity for food banks to obtain. Those affected by food insecurity are often at high-risk for obesity and diet-related diseases due to the lack of quality in the foods that they can afford.

Founded in 2011, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry asks area hunters and farmers to take their large game or livestock to a participating meat processor where the donation is processed, packaged and frozen (at no cost to the donor). Local hunger-relief agencies are contacted for pick up and distribution of this nutritious protein back into the community.

“Protein, an important component of every cell in the body and one of the most important nutrients for brain and body development in children, is also the hardest commodity for food banks to obtain,” says Debra Treesh, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry executive director. “Our goal is to provide this protein-packed meat to hunger-relief agencies within Indiana to assist those in need of additional food services. Getting groceries at local food banks and pantries guarantees healthy meals for families when they need extra help.

“This program works to ensure that these agencies have meat, allowing us to provide fresh nutritious protein for hungry local families. This effort will help build stronger, healthier communities by meeting a basic need – reducing food insecurity and empowering people by getting them back on track to hunger-free, independent living.”

More than 300,000 Indiana children have no idea where their next meal is coming from. “The grant provided by Whitetails Unlimited will pay to process about 2,050 pounds of donated large game and livestock – providing almost 8,200 more meals through area hunger-relief agencies to residents in need within our communities,” Treesh adds.

In the last eight years, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry has helped to distribute approximately 1.3 million pounds of meat to Indiana food banks, providing over 5.3 million meals to Hoosiers in need. Amber Zecca, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry fund development director, shares, “To date, we have 87 participating meat processors working throughout Indiana to aid us in our mission and to ensure residents in need are served.”

On average, the cost of this donated meat is about $1.30 per pound, which is less than 30 cents per meal!

Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry is accepting donations to fund its “Meat” the Need program throughout Indiana and is continuously looking for volunteers to help in its efforts to feed the hungry and reduce hunger issues throughout Indiana. For more information, please visit www.HoosiersFeedingtheHungry.org.