Hunters Helping the Hungry is a program established by the Nebraska Legislature in April 2012 that provides ground venison to Nebraskans in need. It allows hunters to donate whole field-dressed deer at participating meat processors, food pantries and other charitable organizations that distribute the ground venison across the state. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission accepts cash donations to pay contracted processors and operate the program. Hunters who donate a deer pay no processing fee.
In 2016 there were 614 deer donated by 538 hunters. This resulted in 28,575 pounds of venison. View the full 2016 program year report to learn more about the success of the program.
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.
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 through our online gift catalog.
- 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.
Nebraska Game and Parks seeks applications from interested processors each year. Interested processors may apply before July 20. Selected processors are announced each August. You may view a map of 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.