In 2017, a record 734 deer were donated resulting in 34,161 pounds of venison. View the full 2017 program year report to learn more about the success of the program.
Hunters Helping the Hungry is a program established by the Nebraska Legislature in April 2012 that provides pure ground venison to Nebraskans in need. It allows hunters to donate whole field-dressed deer at participating processors to be distributed by charitable organizations and food pantries statewide.
Over 530,000 meals (1/4 lb serving of venison) have been distributed to those in need since the program began in 2012. Participating processors are paid through cash donations to the program to process deer donated by hunters. Help ensure that every deer a hunter wants to donate can be processed and more families get fed.
The popularity of the program has caused an increase in total processing costs that has quickly outpaced cash donations to pay for it. Without more cash donations in 2018, the program will need to cut the number of allowed deer donations in half. Only program expenses are paid for with your donation, and more than 85% of donations are used for processing deer and packaging the venison.
How to support the program
Tax-deductible cash contributions to support the program can be made three ways:
- Add a contribution while purchasing any Nebraska hunting permit.
- Make a contribution online by selecting ‘donate‘ near the bottom of our permits website.
- Write a check made out to Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, with HHH written in the memo field and mail it to: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, ATTN Hunters Helping the Hungry, 2200 N 33rd St, PO Box 30370, Lincoln, NE 68503-0370.
How to donate a deer
Hunters can donate a deer at a contracted processor beginning with the first day of the deer archery season, and ending on the day after the late antlerless deer season ends. However, some contracted processors may only accept deer for a part of this period. Hunters are reminded that any donated deer must be legally harvested with any valid Nebraska deer permit and checked through Telecheck or at a November firearm check station. Hunters may keep the deer head, antlers and cape, but should contact a contracted processor to discuss removal of those portions. The program will not pay for removal. There is no limit to the number of deer a hunter may donate, however the number of deer donated at a processor location may be limited based on the available program funds to pay for the processing.
Nebraska Game and Parks seeks applications from interested processors each year. Interested processors may apply before July 1. Selected processors are announced each August. Use the the interactive map below to find locations of and details about participating processors:
Since processing costs must be covered by donated funds, initial contracts limit the number of deer processors can accept annually. However beginning in 2013 those limits have been increased during the year with every processor willing to take in additional deer for the program. Only deer expected to yield at least 40 pounds of ground venison may be donated. Only whole, field-dressed deer can be accepted; hunters may not keep any venison.
Frequently asked questions
More information about donating deer, receiving deer, participating processors, restrictions and more can be found on our Hunters Helping the Hungry FAQ page.
Thanks to our start-up donors
The Hunters Helping the Hungry program is very grateful to the following donors who contributed more than $30,000 combined to support the program in its first year: Cabela’s Club VISA, CBSHome, the David Scott Foundation, HOME Real Estate, HomeServices of America, Inc., the Metropolitan Utilities District, Northern Natural Gas, Tenaska Marketing Ventures, and Woods Brothers Realty.
For more information, email Teresa Lombard or call her at 402-471-5430.