The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources invites all West Virginia hunters, churches and the general public to help support DNR's charitable Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, according to DNR's HHH Program Coordinator Gene Thorn.
The program allows hunters to donate legally harvested deer to certified processors so the meat can be distributed to soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, senior centers, missions, churches and community centers around the state.
"The HHH program has been highly successful since it began in 1992, providing more than 1.2 million meals to the neediest West Virginians," said Thorn. "However, the program also requires cash donations to pay for processing and distribution costs."
Since 1999, the West Virginia Council of Churches has sponsored the Share the Harvest Sunday to raise funds for the HHH Program. This Sunday, approximately 3,000 churches will be asking members of their congregations to contribute $1, $5 or whatever they can afford to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program.
"Many churches around the state have received a personalized letter asking them for voluntary donations from their congregations during this Sunday," said Thorn. "However, because our database does not include every church in the state, we ask any church not receiving this solicitation letter to consider taking up an offering for the HHH Program. This donation can be mailed directly to the HHH Program."
Churches can take up an offering any time, not just Share the Harvest Sunday, and submit this at a later date.
"The general public can also submit monetary donations to HHH Program at any time," Thorn said. "Without the continued financial assistance of churches, hunters, the general public and the Governor's One-Shot Deer Hunt, this program cannot continue."
Because state and federal laws prohibit the HHH Program from using sportsmen's license dollars to pay for processing and distribution costs, it is entirely dependent on monetary donations, together with some grant funding.
To make a monetary donation to the HHH Program, visit www.wvdnr.gov/Hunting/HHH.shtm. Hunters also can consult the website for certified processor locations around the state.
For program general information, consult the website or contact Thorn at (304) 924-6211 or Eugene.R.Thorn@wv.gov