Hunters have extra chance to beat hunger in Arkansas this September

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry will hold a special “freezer cleanout day” at the Bass Pro Shops in Little Rock, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 21. 

Many Arkansas hunters donate to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, sharing their harvest with the less fortunate in the state. The urban archery deer hunts that opened last weekend all collect venison to be distributed to food shelters and food banks through a partnership between AHFH, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Bowhunters Association.

With these early opportunities and the regular archery deer season beginning Sept. 28, now is a great time to go through your freezer and collect any processed meat left from last year’s harvest. When this year’s deer begin filling the freezer, it’s easy for last year’s meat to get misplaced or lost in the shuffle. Instead of throwing out meat after it has gone bad, you can clean out the freezer and donate that venison while it’s still good to people who are in need.

“Those leftovers go a long way in helping provide meat to food pantries around the state, which is one of the hardest things for these places to gather,” said Ronnie Ritter, executive director for AHFH. “The freezer cleanout has become a big event to help us start the deer season off on the right foot.”

Anyone who donates meat or gives a cash donation at the event will be entered in hourly drawings for $25 gift cards from Bass Pro Shops. They also will be eligible for a grand prize drawing for a new Savage .22 rifle at the end of the event.

Ritter says the drawing also will include people who purchase a license at the store that day and elect to make a donation to AHFH through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s license system.

“Hunters have been able to donate $1, $5 or $10 to us when they buy their hunting license for years, and we really appreciate all the help that option has given us in our mission,” Ritter said.

In addition to the freezer cleanout and drawings, Kruse Meat Products of Saline County will have samples of summer sausage available to try.

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