Help us feed the hungry. Let the thrill of your hunt help others!!
Several years ago, Access Illinois Outdoors recognized there was a resource available to address a need in our community. That resource was our deer and the need was hungry families. Unfortunately the need has continued to grow as our hunting population has declined but we have exerted our best efforts to keep up with the demand for deer meat through our “Access Food” program. The number of families who cannot afford meat in their budget keeps us focused each year on reaching our goal to provide deer meat to the local food pantries in as large a quantity as possible..
Many of the non- resident hunters are willing to shoot a doe if they are not burdened with the processing costs and distribution of the meat. Resident hunters will also donate to help out the community. The program has been very successful for the past 11 years, with almost 20,000 pounds of processed venison donated this past season. We no longer can count on Sportsmen Against Hunger funding which previously contributed $50 per deer towards the processing costs with Access Food paying the remaining balance of $35. The loss of this funding that had been a constant through previous years was a real game changer for the program. Fortunately last year we were able to make up the slack. We hope this year is no different. Our fear every year is that we will lose a major donor and not be able to fill the need we are seeing at our local food pantries. The food pantries have continued to see an increase in demand for food, particularly protein products. The food pantries are seeing many new families as clients. The Access Food program is the only program that helps them obtain meat donations and it is a very important program to them. At this time we only have limited funding for the deer processing fees which are $85 per deer. We hope that lodges and hunting related businesses are able to contribute and that agriculture related businesses see how helping to control the deer population could actually benefit their customers. All contributions are tax deductible. Every donation will be very much appreciated and will help to feed hungry people.
To make a donation or for more information, pleases contact the Access Illinois Outdoors office at 1301 East Washington, P. O. Box 87, Pittsfield, IL, 62363, 217-285-2464 or 1-888-285-2464.