LANSING – A unique partnership between government and not-for-profit organizations is expected to provide those in need within Michigan with 4,400-plus meals of one of the most requested items at food pantries: protein.

The recent effort to collect venison from Michigan hunters by the Food Bank Council of Michigan, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger netted 25 deer donated at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare, Nov. 16-18.

“This event helps our network understand that everyone wants to see hunger come off the table and our hungry neighbors have access to high quality foods, especially protein. I am overwhelmed at the generosity and inspired by the efforts of our friends to create a food secure Michigan,” said Phil Knight, Ph.D., Food Bank Council executive director.

Carson Village Market in Carson City volunteered to process the 1,116 pounds of venison, which is now located at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint. The meat will be shared over the coming weeks with the Food Bank Council’s network of regional food banks for distribution to Michiganders in need.

“The DNR welcomes the opportunity to work with partners at the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger on this important effort. This program is a great example of people coming together around natural resources to lend a hand and help others. Thanks to all those who worked so hard to make this event a success,” said Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger raises money year-round to pay for the processing of the donated deer. Deer can be donated through all of the hunting seasons; firearm, bow and muzzle loading season. For more information, a list of processors and to make monetary donations visit