MDC and CFM deliver 300 pounds of donated deer meat to Samaritan Center

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Conservation Commissioners, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) leadership and staff, and members of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) delivered and unloaded 300 pounds of deer meat from Horn’s Butcher Shop in Fulton to the Samaritan Center in Jefferson City on Thursday, Dec. 9. The donated venison came from the statewide Share the Harvest program to help the Samaritan Center feed hungry individuals and families.

“Many people in our communities are in need of food assistance, especially protein such as red meat,” explained MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “Locally harvested deer meat, or venison, is a low-fat source of that much needed protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri deer hunters help feed hungry people in their communities by donating extra venison to meat processors who then package it for places such as the Samaritan Center.”

The Samaritan Center, located at 1310 E. McCarty St. in Jefferson City, serves people in need in Cole and surrounding counties through food assistance, healthcare assistance, education, legal assistance, and clothing assistance -- primarily through the efforts of volunteers. Learn more at

“The donations made through the Share the Harvest program provide more than just a source of protein to persons in need,” said Samaritan Center Operations Manager Ben DeFeo. “The ability for sporting men and women to donate their surplus and pass that spirit of charity to the next generation helps promote stewardship and volunteerism. Without those qualities in the people of Mid Missouri, service agencies like ours could not exist.”

The statewide program is run by MDC and CFM.

“The Share the Harvest Program is a wonderful example of how MDC and partners have worked together to help those in need and to help manage deer numbers in the state,” said Conservation Commission Chair Barry Orscheln. “We offer a sincere thank you to the many deer hunters, meat processors, businesses, conservation agents, and food pantries that make Share the Harvest a successful program each year.”

Since the program was started, Share the Harvest has provided more than 4.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians.

“Through the power of partnerships, we can deliver necessary protein to Missourians in need,” said CFM Executive Director Tyler Schwartze. “Missouri deer hunters continue to come through year after year and share their harvests. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all those who contributed in any way at all to this year’s Share the Harvest success. These dedicated efforts from each individual Missourian add up to truly make a huge impact across the state.”

Share the Harvest was established in 1992 by Missouri deer hunters to help feed people in need by providing donated venison to food banks and food pantries that serve people in need. The program works by deer hunters donating their extra venison, including whole deer, to participating meat processors who then process and package the donated venison. The meat is then donated to food banks and food pantries. Learn more at and