(Memphis) Every night, countless people go hungry in Memphis because they don’t have the money for food.
Mid-South hunters are fighting hunger in a very unique way.
Believe it or not, one deer can feed more than 140 people.
The groups Hunters for the Hungry in Shelby County and Hunters Harvest in Mississippi are calling all hunters to help out by donating a deer.
Mickey Mancini is the sponsoring processor for the program.
“People are going to bed every single night hungry needlessly. This is the time of year that we could provide these meals for the people,” said Mancini.
Last year alone nearly 30,000 pounds of deer meat was collected in Shelby County.
That translates into more than 100,000 meals for the hungry right here in the Mid-South.
Across Tennessee, more than a half million meals were donated by hunters.
Right now, the season is halfway over, and Mancini says donations are down.
“A lot of people are hunting the big bucks and leaving these does out that are not harvested and need to be,” said Mancini.
Here’s how it works: A hunter who wants to help out can donate a deer at Dino’s Deer Processing center on Watkins.
Mancini and his crew separate the meat into cuts and grind them in a processor.
The ground meat, which is very lean and healthy for you, is put into a casing.
After that meat is processed, it’s put in boxes, and then the Mid-South Food Bank comes and picks it up.
The food bank then distributes the venison out to 14 partnering agencies across the Mid-South.
A lot of the donated venison is ground for spaghetti meat or chili because it can feed more people that way, but Mancini also makes summer sausage, meatballs, bacon, burgers and even tamales.
“There’s a lot of things you can do and we’re trying to take deer processing to the next level to get more out of it,” said Mancini.
If you’re a hunter and you would like to get involved check out their website at www.deercut.com.