Hunters for the Hungry Program
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The Maine Hunters for the Hungry Program was founded in 1996 and its impact has grown steadily ever since. Maine sportsmen and sportswomen can play a major role in game management while providing wild game meat to hunger relief locations across the state. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry facilitates the donations to food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters affiliated with The Emergency Food Assistance Program. There are a limited number of food assistance sites with the capacity to accept wild game meat.
The Maine Hunters for the Hungry Program is a collaboration with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that works with the Maine Warden Service, state biologists, Maine State Troopers and hunters towards a common goal of helping Mainers in need.
The program accepts bear, deer and moose donations. When a connection can be made between a donor, processor, and pantry, hunters do not pay for the processing of donated meat. Meat processing costs are paid for by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry or the charity that receives the food. Hunters choosing to keep their game can still donate a few pounds to the program. Meat Processors that are interested in participating should call 207-287-3491 or email H4H@maine.gov.
The program has been successful annually by supplying lean, high protein meats to food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters throughout Maine.
Hunters for the Hungry offers a deep and sincere thank you to the hunters, corporations, and organizations for their past, present and continued support.
- Contact an approved processor to be sure they have the capacity to receive your donation.
- Game must be legally harvested and tagged.
- Please be aware the program is unable to accept donations from animals harvested in the Do Not Eat advisory area. For the most up to date information regarding the “Do Not Eat” advisory, including the advisory zone boundaries, please review IFW's Advisory.
- Game must be field dressed – Watch Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s how to video.
- Properly care for the meat, follow common food safety guidelines, keep it cold and get it to an approved processor in a timely manner.
- Fill out a Game Donation Form.
Deadline for submitting 2023 applications to become an approved processor is July 15, 2023.
To be eligible for participation in Maine’s Hunters for the Hungry reimbursement program, you must: