As hunters harvest deer from Michigan’s woods and fields, Mid City Nutrition is seeing its freezers refilled with fresh venison. It goes into burgers, vegetable soup, meatloaf, meatballs and more.
“Anything you can do with hamburger,” said Alice Rieves, Mid City Nutrition’s executive director.
The donations play an important role in the organization’s food supply, Rieves said, and are part of an annual program that distributes fresh venison across the state.
Michigan hunters are expected to donate more than 58,000 pounds of venison to food pantries through Michigan Sportsman Against Hunger, according to a news release by the Michigan Wildlife Council. That is enough food for about 232,000 meals. If the projections come true, the effort would beat last year’s haul of 52,145 pounds, according to the news release.
About 16 percent of Michigan households struggle with food security, according to the the Michigan Wildlife Council.
The effort is a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Food Bank Council of Michigan and various meat processors, pantries and homeless shelters.
The meat that goes to Mid City Nutrition is processed by Jimmy Rankin Meats in Port Huron, Rieves said. They usually get it all ground, but may request some other cuts to open up other recipes. Anyone who wants their venison to go to Mid City can take it there.
Other local processors are also participating, including Johnston’s Meat Processing in Peck, The Country Market in Lapeer and Richmond Meat Packers in Richmond.
There are two ways to donate. If a hunter pays for their own processing, one pound of meat can be donated to the local panties. If a hunter drops off their whole deer for donation, the animal will be processed at no cost to them.
Rieves said she’s thankful to residents for supporting Mid City throughout the year.
“We are so blessed to live in this community that is so giving and so caring,” she said.
Anyone looking for more information about the program can visit sportsmenagainsthunger.org.
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Jeremy Ervin covers environment, education and more. Contact him at (810) 989-6276 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ErvinJeremy.
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