May 2, 2019
Hunters Poised to Help Fight Against Hunger
The Dean of the House of Representatives understands the hunter’s heart. Now, he’s trying to make it a little easier on hunters’ wallets to do the right thing, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation® thinks it’s a great idea.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced the Wild Game Donation Act (H.R. 2291) in Congress that would make it easier for hunters to fight hunger across the United States. If passed, this legislation would establish a charitable deduction for the processing cost when hunters donate wild game meat from animals like deer or moose, to charities that collect it to be served in soup kitchens and food banks. This bill would also allow for additional deductions for the meat processors participating in food donation organizations, which will help ensure that fresh, unspoiled meat is being served to those in need.
Meeting the Need
The food banks and soup kitchens across America are in constant need of donations and assistance in order to face the enormous problem of “food insecurity” in this country. In 2017 alone, approximately 40 million Americans struggled with hunger while 1 in 6 American children may not know where their next meal is coming from. In the face of a problem of such unacceptable scope, it just makes sense that we make it easier for hunters and game processors to be part of the solution that the hunting community is eager to provide.
Every year, deer season alone in America produces more than 400 million pounds of edible meat, which can translate into 1.6 billion meals. Sources of the lean, hormone-free organic protein that is accepted at food shelters are not limited to just deer, however. Charities such as Hunters Helping the Hungry, which has provided over 27.7 million quarter-pound meals of lean meat to those in need since 1991, accept all types of game including feral pigs, rabbit, elk and various fowl. Organizations like these are crucial middlemen who arrange for the processing of donated game meat and ensure that it arrives fresh to soup kitchens and food pantries across the country.
It’s in Our Nature
The hunters of America have always celebrated the values of community and generosity. Congress has the opportunity to reduce the burden on hunters to provide tax deductions when they pay the costs of game processing out of pocket. Congress could mobilize a segment of society already well positioned to alleviate the food insecurity problem. That is why NSSF is committed to supporting the Wild Game Donation Act so hunting donation charities can not only function year round by receiving more donations, but also grow so that the needs of even more hungry families can be met with organic, high protein food sources.
It’s natural for us as hunters to do this. It makes sense for Congress to make it easier to do this on a greater scale. We’re proud to support this effort to make it easier to share our harvest.