The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is encouraging hunters across the region to donate a harvested deer during the inaugural Black Belt Hunters Food Drive to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, from Friday, Jan. 15 to Monday, Jan. 18.
“We know this past year has been difficult for many and we hope this targeted weekend will assist in providing healthy, organic and ground venison to families in need all across the Black Belt region,” said Pam Swanner, director of the ALBBAA. “During this time of year, and especially with the impact of COVID-19, we couldn’t think of a better way to encourage sportsmen and women to utilize this free program to support the areas in which they go afield.”
A formal program of the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation, the Hunters Helping the Hungry program began in 1999 and has donated nearly half a million pounds of venison to food banks across the state since that time.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship chairs the ACNR Foundation and noted the importance of the HHH program:
“This established program has been a staple for wildlife managers over the past 20 years and helps fill a critical need in communities across the state as well as allows for quality deer management. We are proud to offer this program and are grateful to the participating processors. This is a fantastic way for hunters to take advantage of our abundant deer population, months-long season and liberal bag limits to provide meat for the freezer for their own families as well as those in need.”
There is no charge to the hunter for processing the deer. Currently, there are seven processors participating in the HHH program within the Black Belt along with 15 food banks participating within the region.
The participating processors are:
- Buckster’s Deer Processing in Montgomery County
- M & S Wildlife Services in Choctaw County
- Nichols Deer Processing in Dallas County
- Richey’s Deer Processing in Hale County
- Johns Deer Processing in Lee County
- Milliron’s Deer Processing in Russell County
- Venison LLC in Wilcox County
For a full list of participating processors and food banks, please visit the website.
Those who donate a deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program during the designated food drive and tag Alabama Black Belt Adventures on Facebook or Instagram will be entered into a random drawing for a donated antler mount from Foster’s Taxidermy Supply in Montgomery.
The Black Belt, as defined by Alabama Black Belt Adventures, includes Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox counties.