IARN — State and local leaders joined the Iowa Wildlife Federation Tuesday morning via Zoom to discuss opportunities for hunters to help address food insecurity.
Data from the Iowa DNR shows hunters have provided over 10 million meals through state programs since 2003. One of those programs is the popular HUSH program, which stands for Help Us Stop Hunger. One of the many hunters who has helped contribute to the program is State Auditor Rob Sand, who joined the conference call Tuesday.
“It was a good way I thought to share in the gift of the bounty that I was able to secure out in nature to make sure that other people were able to eat it who were in need,” Sand said. “I think it’s an important thing to keep doing. At the end of the day, it’s about putting food on the table. Even if your own family doesn’t prefer (venison) someone else’s will. And so I think it’s a good thing to participate in HUSH.”
The DNR has taken things a step further this year with new opportunities for hunters to share their harvest. In addition to HUSH, the DNR is piloting the Iowa Deer Exchange which connects hunters directly with recipients who are in need of food.
Mick Klemesrud with the DNR says that by signing up for the Iowa Deer Exchange, hunters are able to provide high quality, lean protein to Iowa families.
“We have about 230 people registered for the program so far all across the state,” Klemesrud said. “Recipients outnumber donors, which is a good thing. That shows there is a value and appreciation for this high-quality resource. It’s our first go around at this and I’m sure it’s going to be exciting to see some of this.”
Information on both HUSH and the Iowa Deer Exchange can be found on the DNR’s website.
Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.
Image source: pxfuel Creative Commons