With bow hunting season well underway and the holidays coming up quickly, it's a good time to remind hunters in Indiana of how their passion for the thrill of the hunt can help fellow Hoosier families who are struggling to put food on the table.

It's easy for those of us who don't struggle with food insecurity to think those who do likely live in cities with larger populations, like Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, South Bend, etc. However, it's not a 'big city problem." According to Feeding America, of the nearly 6.8 million people in Indiana, 834,530 of us face hunger. That's 1 in 8 people or roughly 12% of the population. Of those 834,530, 239,540, or 1 in 7 are kids, meaning it is likely that someone you know, maybe a relative, a friend, or a neighbor, doesn't have enough food to eat. You may not know it because they may be too embarrassed to say anything about it or ask for help.

Fortunately, there is a way you can help "meat" their need, even if they don't ask.

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Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry

Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting those who are struggling by partnering with meat processors around the state to supply the much-needed protein individuals and their families need. According to the organization, protein deficiency can lead to a number of health problems including "loss of muscle mass, greater risk for bone fractures, stunted growth in children, and impaired immune systems," the latter of which we've learned over the past year can be especially dangerous.

How You Can Help

Head to the woods, or wherever your favorite hunting spot happens to be, and keep doing what you've been doing — tracking, hunting, and bagging deer. After a successful hunt, take your deer to one of the 85 processors in the state and tell them you want to donate the meat to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. The processor will take care of it from there, and you won't pay a dime.

Where Does the Donated Meat Go?

If it matters to you, the meat you donate will be given to soup kitchens and food banks in the community it was processed in, a.k.a. where you live.

How Many People Can One Deer Feed?

Great question. And, one that can be answered with this photo provided by Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry.

Hoosiers Helping the Hungry

Since its start in 2011, Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry has covered the processing costs for over 1.9 million pounds of meat which has provided over 7.9 million meals statewide.

This is a great way to kill two birds — or deer — with one stone (or bullet, or arrow). Not only do you get to enjoy your passion for hunting, you also get to lend a hand to those who need it. It's something to keep in mind next time you get up before the sun, deck yourself out in full camo, and head out to your favorite hunting grounds.

[Source: Hoosiers Feeding Families]

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