Hunting season is underway in Texas and Oklahoma, with hunters trekking into the woods on the weekends, hoping for that prize buck. Many of them are hunting for more than sport; they're hunting to help feed the hungry.
At the Walterscheid Meat Company in Muenster, the freezers are packed.
Instead of going home with the hunters, some of this meat is going to food banks instead.
"They just tell us, ‘I really don't like the meat, can I donate it?’ Sure thing," says Henry Knabe with Walterscheid Meat Co.
The ‘Hunters for the Hungry’ program began nearly 20 years ago. It’s a statewide effort in both Texas and Oklahoma for people who may enjoy hunting, but do not like the meat or have too much of it.
For $25 they can donate it to a meat processor who grinds it then gives it to a food bank.
"Those are invaluable, especially this time of year," says Sue Stanfield, on staff with the Hands of Hope food bank in Durant.
They are giving out chickens with their Thanksgiving bundles this year, but also give the donated meat whenever they receive it.
"Even the price of groceries, they're probably up a third of what they were a few months ago. So even people on food stamps can't make it," she says.
The donations make it possible for families to get the nutrients they need puts lean meat slike venison on the table.
"Meat is invaluable, I mean other commodities are valuable too, but when you give them meat you feel like you've given them some protein, you've given them something that's very expensive at the store," she says.
The two pound bag could feed an entire family, depending on the number of people.
Walterscheid's donated about 2,000 lbs of meat last year and expect to donate even more this year.
Click on ‘related links’ for participating processors in Texas.