The donated venison equates to 41,000 meals

Food Bank of Iowa wants to thank deer hunters who donated carcasses from the 2020-21 season resulting in 50,000 pounds of much-needed protein for Iowans who are struggling to make ends meet within the food bank’s 55-county area. Venison donations are facilitated by a unique state program called Help Us Stop Hunger (HUSH).

HUSH is a collaborative effort among Iowa deer hunters, Iowa’s six Feeding America food banks and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. A hunter may donate a legally harvested, field-dressed deer to a participating meat locker, which skins, bones, and grinds the meat into two-pound packages of pure venison. All deer licenses include a $1 surcharge to fund deer processing and administrative costs.  

The frozen venison is distributed through Iowa food banks to food pantries, meal sites and other emergency food providers who provide this excellent source of home ground protein directly to your neighbors in need.

“I grew up on venison. My dad hunted and fished to supplement what my mother grew in the garden to feed a family of six,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “I know the quality and versatility of ground venison and thank Iowa hunters for making it accessible to Iowans who don’t hunt but very much need the protein.”

By participating in HUSH, hunters can purchase additional antler-less licenses and continue to hunt after they bag their trophy stag, helping reduce the deer population and providing high-quality venison for neighbors in need.  Food Bank of Iowa finds that venison is a popular product that partners request yearly.

Any organization or individual interested in learning more about HUSH can visit