“Meat” the Need to help the hungry get protein

FORT WAYNE, Ind, (WANE) – Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry is encouraging hunters and farmers to donate large game and livestock. The idea is to get fresh meat to people who are having a tough time affording quality food. It’s part of a program called “Meat” the Need.

Board President Bill Hoover and Fund Development Director Amber Zecca joined First News Saturday to give more details.

Within the program, hunters and farmers donate large game and livestock to participating butcher shops that are state or health inspected. Tax deductible donations are used to pay for the butchering, cutting, and wrapping of donated meat.

Butchers will cut and wrap the meat into 1 and 2 pound packages, perfect for families. The packaged meat is then given at no charge to local Feeding America food banks and local hunger relief ministries. The meat is then distributed to area families in need within your community. The donation will be processed, packaged and frozen.

Local hunger relief agencies will be contacted for pick up and distribution of this protein back into the community in which it was donated.

The Waterfield Foundation has awarded the Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry’s Meat the Need program a grant in the amount of $1,000,00. These funds will be used to assist Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry in paying processing fees for donated large game and livestock.

The funds provided by this store will pay for approximately 770 pounds of donated large game and livestock in Fort Wayne and Allen County, which will then be distributed to area hunger relief agencies providing over 3,000 meals to those in need within this community.

Approximately 1 out of every 4 households within Indiana (that have children) report an inability to be able to afford enough food to feed their family and over 30% of Hoosiers regularly have to choose between paying bills or buying food. Those affected by food insecurity are often at high-risk for obesity and diet-related diseases due to the lack of quality in the foods that they can afford.

Typically people think of canned goods when they think about food donation. Protein, one of the most important nutrients for brain and body development in children and young adults, is also the hardest commodity for food banks to obtain.

To date, there are 87 participating meat processors working within 85 counties in Indiana to ensure residents in need are served. They will be working with Community Harvest Food Bank, Custom Quality Meats North, E&L Farm and Processing, Feders Meats, Jamison Meats, Lengacher Meat, Messmann Meats and New Haven Custom Meats to ensure residents in Fort Wayne and Allen County have access to this nutritious protein

In the last six years, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry has helped to distribute almost 838,500 pounds of meat to Indiana food banks, providing over 3 million meals to Hoosiers in need.

Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry is accepting donations to fund the Meat the Need program throughout Indiana and is continuously looking for volunteers to help in their efforts to feed the hungry and reduce hunger issues throughout Indiana. For more information on the Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry program, its services and to find participating meat processors in your area, or to find out how you can help, please visit their website.

There is a benefit coming up September 9th at Middaugh Hall. Doors open at 4 p.m. DeKalb County Fairgrounds. There’s a buffet-Style Dinner at 6 p.m. with an auction beginning at 7:30 p.m.