Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Good game: Sportsmen Against Hunger enables hunters to make a difference

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | December 20th, 2017

Good Game-photograph by Lore HornungOf all kinds of food, perishable is the least donated to the homeless, though it is most necessary for healthy meals. The Sportsmen Against Hunger, or SAH program, allows sportsmen from across the state to donate wild game through a select group of processors. Approved processors are separated into eight regions throughout the state. Last year the organization donated 73 thousand pounds of wild game to food pantries statewide. HPR had the opportunity to chat with Martha Holte, Program Coordinator for the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota.

High Plains Reader: How has the Sportsmen Against hunger program evolved over the past 10 years?

Martha Holte: In 2004, we started the Sportsmen Against Hunger program as a public education campaign. At that time, our statewide needs assessment had identified hunger as the biggest problem low-income families were facing. The main focus was to educate hunting groups and organizations about hunger in our state and encourage them to come up with their own ways of supporting the effort to end hunger, resulting in the creation of a venison donation program.

Donations have ebbed and flowed through the years with the natural shift in wildlife populations. The first year saw involvement from three of our eight regions with a total of 115 deer being donated and this past hunting season we helped distribute a grand total of 7,300 pounds of wild game to food pantries across the state. Through partnerships with North Dakota Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we now accept donations of all legally obtained wild game, including moose, elk, black bear, deer, Canada geese and snow geese.

HPR: I've noticed in my research that there are various Sportsmen Against Hunger programs throughout the Midwest--is it safe to assume that it is a program nationwide?

MH: We are not part of a national organization, but we identified a need and the sportsmen in our state helped find a solution to address it. Our program was started based on the need in our state and while I can’t speak for other programs, I have a feeling that as Midwesterners we naturally want to help our neighbors during tough times, whether that is helping plow our neighbor’s driveway after a blizzard, donate winter coats to help keep warm, or share excess meat after a really successful hunting season.

HPR: What steps must one take to donate meat to the program?

MH: The donation process is as simple as visiting our website, www.capnd.org/sportsmen, finding the processor nearest you, and dropping off your wild game. Once the game is dropped off, our approved processors take care of preparing the game for distribution, and then a local community action agency picks it up and distributes to the various food pantries in their region.

HPR: There is a list of processors on your website by region. How did you select them?

MH: There is a group of processors that has been involved since the inception of this program and throughout the years we have added or removed as needed. We occasionally receive recommendations from hunters that know a reputable processor or new processors may reach out to us and ask to participate. Either way, we collect all the necessary contact information, ensure they are reputable and receive regular inspections, then add them to our list.

HPR: Do they offer a discounted processing fee? How does that work?

MH: We respect each processor’s pricing as is, though there are a couple that offer discounted processing if they receive large donations, such as those that help with the elk reduction project through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We also have hunters that will decide to pay for the processing fee in addition to donating their wild game, which is always appreciated.

HPR: Is there one region of the state that suffers more than others?

MH: We continue to see the highest need in the western side of the state, particularly in the Dickinson area. It is the only region where we don’t have a participating processor, and though they do receive donations from the surrounding regions whenever possible, we would love to start a partnership with a local processor so they have a more sustained flow of donations.

HPR: Is there one region that receives more wild game donations than others?

MH: It really varies from year to year, depending on the wildlife populations and hunter participation. Last year, the Bismarck area processed the highest amount of donations by weight, largely due to the elk reduction project. However, a good portion of those donations are distributed across the entire state.

HPR: What do you think is the most startling statistic is as far as homelessness and hunger in North Dakota?

MH: For me, one of the most surprising things about hunger in North Dakota is that roughly 90 percent of our state’s land is used for agriculture and farming, yet 1 in 12 people struggle with hunger. Compared to other states, that is actually pretty low but it is still startling when you grasp just how much of our nation’s food is grown or raised right here in North Dakota, and that we are still affected by food insecurity.

HPR: How are the donations dispersed--where do they go?

MH: We have eight community action agencies across North Dakota who pick up the processed game and distribute it to the food pantries in their own region.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency

3233 University Drive South, Fargo; 701-232-2452

Monday-Friday, 9am-3:30pm, www.capnd.org/sportsmen

Recently in:

FARGO – Ellen Chaffee wanted to know how much lobbyists were spending to influence North Dakota legislators. Online searches ended in dead ends. As the founders of North Dakotans for Public Integrity, Chaffee and Dina Butcher…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comZero Gravity Alternative Fitness will present their annual Halloween showcase this Saturday at their studio in south Fargo. The event, aptly named Poletergeist II, is a chance for students and staff…

Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 - 8 p.m.Atonement Lutheran Church, 4601 University Drive S., FargoBring the kids for candy and fun! This family-friendly halloween event has fun for everyone! There will be trunk or treating outside, a…

This weekend I was showing a friend of mine some Fargo hotspots. He was visiting from the West Coast, so naturally I was playing up the Midwest’s many charms. He mentioned that one thing that differed from the West Coast was the…

Gadfly

Goodbye Democracy!

by Ed Raymond

How today’s “christians” hammered the nails into the hands and feet of christHistorian Christopher Browning, who has spent a lifetime studying the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, and the World War II era of Europe, has expressed…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.com The scent of sauerkraut will be in the air next Wednesday when the Wishek Association of Commerce hosts the 93rd Annual Sauerkraut Day festival in Wishek, ND.The city of Wishek is situated 30…

We started our interview with JBOT, Captured! By Robots front man, captive and creator by playing a small bout of phone tag. You see, his internet went out and that sent his mind racing. Once we touched base, he said, “For a…

Damien Chazelle’s fourth feature follows the trajectory common to the careers of many ambitious and talented filmmakers honored with Academy Awards: the dissipation of rawness and experimentation as budgets, expectations, and…

I came to Mineral Point, Wisconsin for the art. The tiny town among the rolling hills about 50 miles southwest of Madison is home to just 2,491 souls and 25 art galleries and studios. Any community with that much creative energy…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

Beer Snob

Warm up with a hot toddy

by HPR Contributor

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.com Fall is once again upon us. The leaves are turning, gardens have been pulled, and Summer’s heat has waned into Autumnal frosts. Along with the change of seasons comes a change of seasonal flavors.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

There are two ways to look at the recommendation of Administrative Law Judge Patrick Ward that the North Dakota Public Service Commission dismiss the complaint against that (expletive deleted) Meridian Energy for failing to get a…