“Your venison never tasted so good,” is a favorite line of Rick Wilson, founder of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), a nonprofit, faith-based organization that pays for the processing of donated venison and coordinates its distribution to churches, rescue missions, shelters and community food banks. A hunter and educator in the Hagerstown, Md., public school system, Wilson began the program in 1997 as a simple venison donation effort through his church in Washington County. Since then, under Wilson’s guidance, the program has grown to include programs in 33 states. During the past four years, FHFH has coordinated and funded the processing and distribution of more than 750 tons (6 million servings) of donated venison to the hungry. That’s enough meat to feed the entire city of Washington, D.C., for nearly two weeks.
Numerous national hunting organizations and sporting-goods manufacturers have taken notice of the FHFH. In August, the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) announced it was making a $10,000 contribution to FHFH. “We encourage archers to help those less fortunate Americans,” says IBO president Ken Watkins.