A typo in the original version has been corrected.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As inflation continues to take a toll on families across the country, more Oklahomans might find themselves seeking assistance from food banks.

While many businesses may donate excess supplies to food banks, hunters from across the state have also been doing their part.

Since 2002, more than 700,000 pounds of venison has been donated through the Hunters Against Hunger program.

The program allows processed venison to be donated to food pantries within the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of eastern Oklahoma network.

“I am proud of Oklahoma’s deer hunters and processors who donate their time and resources. Together we can provide locally sourced, healthy and nutritious protein to the Oklahomans who need it the most,” said Becky Rouner, coordinator for the Hunters Against Hunger program.

Organizers say legally harvested deer are taken to a meat processor, which separates the meat into 2-pound packages that are given to food pantries.

“Oklahoma hunters are extremely generous and we are so grateful for this partnership that has helped provide high quality meat for our neighbors living with hunger,” said Stacy Dykstra, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “We are so grateful for our partners at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation as well as meat processors who are integral in getting much needed protein to our partner pantries across Oklahoma.”

During the 2021-2022 deer season, organizers say nearly 32,000 pounds of venison was donated to food pantries.

If you would like more information about the Hunters Against Hunger program, call the Wildlife Department at (405) 521-4660.