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Create a tradition of sharing the harvest
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SOCIAL CIRCLE — Since 1993, hunters have been bringing meat to the tables of those in need through the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program. This successful program continues to provide opportunities during hunting season for hunters to share their harvest with those in need. Currently, hunters can donate deer at 14 participating deer processors through Jan. 15. Additionally, two sites will be available this weekend (Nov. 20-21).

"The Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program is one opportunity for hunters to demonstrate their generosity by sharing their harvest with those in need," said John W. Bowers, Wildlife Resources Division assistant chief of Game Management. "The division is proud to be a cooperator in this public-private partnership and to work with the many partners who make it possible each year."

Wildlife Resources, along with the Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Wildlife Federation and the Georgia State Association of Food Banks sponsor the program.

Thanks to these partners, and to the efforts of Georgia hunters and participating meat processors, nearly 30,400 pounds of venison were collected, processed and distributed to food banks across the state in 2009. This meat provided approximately 152,000 meals for needy Georgians. Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 288,282 pounds of venison have been donated.

Want to donate, but don’t have a whole deer to give? No problem, how about just donating a portion of a processed deer. All participating GHFTH program processors will have a freezer indicating where hunters can "drop back a pack" for the program.

Hunters interested in participating in the GHFTH program can bring field-dressed deer to any designated drop-off location. All hunters who donate a deer during this collection period will be entered into a drawing for a deer rifle, sponsored by the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

The following 14 processor locations will accept deer or commercially processed venison until Jan. 15 during business hours:

Axson: Lee’s Meat Processing, 912-422-3079

Baldwin: JJ’s Deer Processing, 706-776-2819

Canton: Mitch’s Archery and Deer Cooler, 770-479-7004

Columbus: Daffin Meat Processing, 706-322-8848

Dawson: Mossy Creek Outdoors, 229-995-4109

Eastman: Barlow’s Deer Processing, 478-374-5614

Irwinton: Starley’s Deer Processing, 478-946-8976

Jefferson: Sealey’s Deer Cooler, 706-335-9304

Leesburg: Country Jacks, 229-883-6017

Milledgeville: Wright’s Deer and Wild Hog Processing, 478-452-4228

Naylor: K&K Deer and Wild Hog Processing, 229-269-5557

Sparta: Garner’s Grinder, 706-444-9228

Stephens: Fire Tower #2 Meat Processing, 706-743-3766

Vidalia: Stewart’s Quality Meat, Inc. 912-537-9888

For more information on donating food to those in need during other times of the year, call the Atlanta Community Food Bank at 404-892-FEED. For more information on the GHFTH program, go to ,, contact a WRD Game Management office or call 770-761-3045.

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