Deer can help feed locals

Published 12:43 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017

NATCHEZ — As the beginning of hunting season nears, Judith Jones said she wants local hunters to remember they can help fill empty stomachs as they fill their own freezers.

“People usually kill more than they can eat,” the Hunters for Hungry director said. “You can harvest enough to feed your family and have a ton left over.”

Hunters for the Hungry is a multi-state non-profit that collects food from hunters  and donates it to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and safe houses for abused families.
Though the foundation’s primary fall event,  “Clean out your Freezer” day, has passed, Jones said she wants people to know hunters can still donate to the cause.

Email newsletter signup

Throughout the year, Hunters for the Hungry also pays for meat processing for hunters who do not want to keep the meat from their expeditions.

Hunters can come to local processors such as Dunn Deer Market, Passbach Meats, Raley’s Processing in Ferriday or Natchez Deer Processing and tell managers they are donating the meat.

The processors will take the deer and give the meat to Jones for distribution.

Jones’ parents, Richard and Judy Campbell, began the local branch of Hunters for the Hungry more than 20 years ago after reading about a similar program in a magazine, she said.

After her father became fatally ill in 2013, Jones took over some of his responsibilities in Natchez and the accompanying Mississippi region.

“They got the idea from someone else in Tennessee or Virginia,” she said. “I’m just carrying on my dad’s legacy in this area.”

Jones said Hunters for the Hungry differs from others in that it serves many different charities.

The primary recipients right now, she said, are the Natchez Stewpot, Natchez Children’s Services, the Guardian Shelter and Catholic Charities.

“This is for all of them,” Jones said. They go through so much — I just want to bring more.”

While delivering a recent cooler of meat to a women’s shelter, Jones said she realized again just how important the contribution can be.

“They couldn’t believe it,” she said. “These women have nothing but the clothes on their back.”

Having something — even just food to eat — gives a sense of stability to the recipients, she said.