The McLean County chapter of Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry program is underway for its sixth year.
Originally published in McLean County News
Freddie Bourne, January 2022

According to KHFH’s website, the program is a charitable volunteer run organization that consists of hunters and conservationists that encourage hunters to harvest and donate deer during each hunting season, where the program focuses on hunger relief and is dedicated to providing a healthy source of protein to residents in need by paying for the processing and distributing costs of the donated venison, while also giving hunters an opportunity to help their communities.

Though the McLean County program was able to hit a record number of donations with 115, Chad Hall, president of Independence Bank in Livermore and board member of McLean County Hunters for the Hungry program, notes that last year proved difficult, but was still better than expected.

“Last year, we did about 54 deer, which was down quite a bit,” Hall said. “But given the circumstances that surrounded 2020, … I think a lot of people were still generous in other ways in our community.”

Hall notes that people that “historically hunted for pleasure” possibly did not get out very much to hunt, while he also predicts that some people may have filled their freezers and stored their deer due to supply-chain issues.

“I don’t think it was a reflection of support for the program as much as it was just a circumstance that engulfed 2020,” Hall said.

However, Hall said that this year is already looking more promising since beginning to accept donations the second week of November.

“Our numbers are already up this year,” Hall said. “We’ve processed 60 deer to date … and we’ll surpass that with still quite a few days left in the hunting season.”

Hall expects to at least exceed 100 deer this year.

The donations received by the program are processed through the local meat processing facility, McLean County Locker in Calhoun, with the deer being donated to God’s House of Hope in Island. Roughly 10% to 12% of residents in the county receive provisions through God’s House of Hope per month.

“(With) what’s happened over the last two years, I think more people are aware of the vulnerabilities … that our neighbors are having and in our society and in our communities,” Hall said.

Hall became involved in the program because he wanted to do something for the community that he serves while working at Independence Bank.