Deer meat donations to Virginia's Hunters for the Hungry program are down 40 percent this year. The nonprofit's program director Laura Newell-Furniss says the decrease is due to the economy. In a statement, she says many hunters are keeping more venison for their own families, or for people who are asking them directly for meat.
Hunters have donated 111,000 pounds of venison so far this year. That's down from 185,000 pounds during the same period in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of people seeking help from food programs has increased by three to four times. Hunters are being asked to donate any venison they can spare.
The group says it has provided more than 18 million quarter-pound servings to needy people since the program began 20 years ago.