LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The U.S. Consumer Price Index reports that since 2020, the prices of meat, poultry and fish have risen by more than 12%. As a result, food banks across Michigan are having a hard time purchasing meat, and that’s where Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger comes in.

“Meat is one of the things that all the food banks, pantries and shelters are in demand for, because there is much they can use it for, and venison burger because it’s high in protein, it can be used for anything,” said Dean Hall, treasurer for Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

The group partners with processors across the state to act as a drop-off location for people looking to donate their deer. The meat will then become ground venison, and the organization will donate it to pantries like Helping Hands Food Pantry in Charlotte. Helping Hands, on average, receives 5,000 pounds of meat from the group every year.

“Last year it lasted from about November to February, and so each family will get one to two pounds each visit,” said Amanda Thompson, executive director of Helping Hands Food Pantry. “So with 2,000 people each month, that is a lot of venison going out into our community.”

Pantry staff said the sportsmen’s donations come at a very important time, as Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. But to the group, it’s just one way to use their passion for hunting to help others. “It’s a great feeling. I mean, what we are doing is sharing the bounty,” said Hall. “We are channeling precious resources for an opportunity for a better community.”

Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunter said it has fed more than 4 million people with these donations.