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Decreased Deer Donations Affect Local Food Banks

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For some, nothing says winter like a hot bowl of beef stew or chicken soup. But less fortunate families are lucky to see any type of meat on their dinner tables this season. Local food bank coordinators say venison donations - a fall and winter staple - have decreased dramatically.

The Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program allows deer donations to participating processors, which then provide food banks with manageable cuts of meat. Venison usually helps organizations such as the Frederick Community Action Agency in Maryland get through the winter. But this year, the group is distributing hot dogs to make up for the venison shortage.

Donors have offered 800 pounds of venison to the agency so far this year, compared to the thousands of pounds of meat that have been donated in past years.

Clint's Cuts, a meat processor in Mt Airy, Md., provides venison to the Community Action Agency, as well as D.C. Central Kitchen and the Frederick Rescue Mission. The owner says fewer hunters have come in with donations this year.

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