Find a participating meat processor in your area. Only counties with participating processors are listed below.
Missouri's Share the Harvest program helps deer hunters donate surplus venison to the needy. This program is administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation. In 2014, 3,967 hunters donated 213,443 pounds of venison.
Simply take your deer to an approved meat processor and let the processor know how much venison you wish to donate. The processor will package the meat, which will be picked up by local sponsoring organizations and taken to a charitable agency for distribution.
Get help with processing costs when you donate a whole deer during all portions of the archery and firearms deer seasons. The Conservation Federation of Missouri reimburses processors a pre-determined amount for each whole deer donated. This allows processors to reduce processing fees to hunters. In addition, many processors have local money available that allows deer to be processed for free or at reduced cost. Be sure to contact individual processors to determine if funds are available. The cost of processing the deer is your responsibility when local funds to help cover the full cost are not available.
During the urban zones portion, the entire processing cost for whole deer donations is paid by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and local sponsors. To have processing costs covered during the urban zones portion, you must take your deer to a participating processor in the urban zones area. Not every processor listed in the table participates in this portion. For a list of those that do, contact your regional Conservation Department office.
The National Institutes of Health state that children need protein in their diets for proper growth and development, and adults need it to maintain good health. Yet many Missourians and their families can't afford or can't get to good sources of protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri hunters can help provide those in need with high-quality protein in the form of deer meat, which is naturally lean.
Any Missourian who needs it. Adults or families can get in touch with a participating distributing agency, and the agency will allocate the venison according to its supply.
It's easy to donate. Hunters take their deer to an approved processing plant and simply tell the processor how much venison they wish to donate. The hunter has the option of donating a few pounds or the whole deer. There is no price reduction for partial donations. The processor then packages and stores the meat until it’s transported to a distributing agency by the coordinator. Agencies receiving venison will distribute it to ensure that all venison is used and is goes to where it serves the greatest need.
You can get involved as a member of almost any club or organization that would like to work with the Share the Harvest program. Sponsoring volunteer clubs are vital to this project. They provide promotion and manpower on a local level to a program that addresses the needy in their area. In addition many local groups provide additional funding to augment the moneys paid by the Conservation Federation on the donation of whole deer. Raising local funds greatly increases donations.
Knowledgeable, enthusiastic processors are a vital key to a successful program. Likewise the coordinating organization needs to take an active role in promoting the program. Having volunteers available at deer processing plants during the firearms deer season to personally contact hunters, hand out literature and answer questions about the program will greatly increase donations. However, don’t interfere with the meat processor’s business.
Share the Harvest
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, M0 65102-0180
Conservation Federation of Missouri
728 West Main
Jefferson City, MO 65101
State-wide sponsors of the cost-reduction program include the Conservation Department, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Missouri Chapter Whitetails Unlimited, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Drury Hotels, Midway USA Inc., Missouri Deer Hunters Assoc. and Missouri Food Banks Association.