NEW JERSEY – The Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) is working with regional food banks which enables hunters to donate venison while addressing the overpopulation of deer in New Jersey. Hunters participate in the program by donating deer through an approved butcher.
In 2001, HHH received a legislative grant of $95,000 and in 2003, the Division of Fish and Wildlife provided $50,000 for a matching grant to keep the program running. Up until now, HHH has relied on private donations and grants. Now, through support from the NJ Farm Bureau working with the NJ Dept. of Agriculture, HHH has been awarded a grant which allows them to waive the hunters portion of the processing fees for hunter donated deer having a field dressed weight of 50 lbs. or more.
Hunters in New Jersey may donate deer to participating butchers who in turn provide them to the NORWESCAP Food Bank in Phillipsburg, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank in Ewing, the Fulfill (formerly the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties) in Neptune and the Foodbank of South Jersey in Pennsauken. Processing fees have historically been paid to the butchers from a fund consisting of donations and grants and a donation made by each hunter donating a deer. Processing fees have historically been paid to the butchers from a fund consisting of donations and grants and a donation made by each hunter donating a deer.
After processing, donated venison is distributed by the NORWESCAP, Fulfill, Mercer Street Friends, and South Jersey food banks to over 400 needy feeding charities throughout the state and to America’s Second Harvest Food Banks statewide.
In the 2021/22 season 911 deer have been donated to this program. This amounted to 29,247 lbs. of venison, which yields 116,988 servings to feed the hungry! Since the program’s inception in 1997 hunters have donated more than 255 TONS of venison to the food banks, providing more than 2.0 million meals.
Butchers who participate in the Hunters Helping the Hungry program receive $100 to process the donated deer. During the entire 2022-23 season, the hunter fee will be waived except for harvested deer with a dressed weight under 50 pounds, where the hunter fee will remain at $50.
In the 2022/23 season 330 deer have been donated to this program. This amounted to 10,053 lbs. of venison, which yields 40,212 servings to feed the hungry, according to the Hunters Helping the Hungry’s website.
Donations to Hunters Helping the Hungry can be mailed to HHH, P.O. Box 587, Lebanon, NJ 08833 or visit the HHH website and donate through Paypal. There is also a link for shopping at Amazon.com which provides a donation to the program.
Contact the following participating butchers (who meet all State game and health laws) before delivering your deer:
|Game Butchers |
The Person Family
|Bringhurst Fine Meats |
38 W. Taunton Rd.
|Farmers Butcher Shop |
91 Titus Mill Rd.
|V. Roche & Son LLC |
9 High Street
|The Buck Stop |
989 Alvine Rd.
|Bishop’s Market |
|Hunterdon Deer Butcher |
51 Old Franklin School Rd.
Some butchers may not accept donated deer during the Six-Day Firearm Season in order to accommodate their regular customers, so hunters need to check with butchers first.
For more information, click here.