Share the Harvest boosts protein inventory at Cassville Pantry

Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Barry County MDC Agent Dan Vanderhoef helps stock venison donation at Cassville Pantry. Contributed photo

600 pounds of venison donated by hunters, MDC

Share the Harvest has donated 600 pounds of venison harvested by hunters in Southwest Missouri to Cassville Pantry.

The donation of lean, low-fat meat has amplified the Pantry’s protein inventory, which has been in short supply during current times of heightened demand. The Missouri Department of Conservation sponsors the Share the Harvest effort, which allows hunters to expand their hobby into a benefit for families facing food insecurity.

Receiving the Share the Harvest venison donation are, from left, volunteer Pete Landstad, Pantry Director Janet Mills, volunteer Anita Philbrick, and Barry County MDC Agent Dan Vanderhoef. Contributed photo

Hunters can keep what they need for personal use and utilize the option to donate the rest to help feed the hungry. The processing fees for the meat are covered by numerous sponsors. More information about Share the Harvest can be found online at confedmo.org

Janet Mills, director of the Cassville Pantry, said stocking the shelves at the facility is as challenging as it is for individual consumers stocking their home cupboards.

“It costs a great deal more in 2022 to provide our typical standard level of food product quantity and quality due to the increased prices that have filtered down to the food bank,” Mills said. “Our volume of visitors is up considerably over one year ago. We are serving 30-40 percent more food insecure persons now in 2022 than we were helping during the heightened volume peak of the pandemic last year. Inflation has taken a large slice out of the household budgets of low and fixed income families in the community.”

As the prices of groceries become increasingly more expensive, Mills said low-income residents are feeling the pinch.

“They are forced to cut back on what they buy, purchasing less food and opting out of more expensive menu items,” she said. “Meat is a highly desirable component to every meal. Meat and protein sources are the items which cost the most for the consumer to purchase.

“The deer meat harvested by area sportsmen and donated through Share the Harvest came just at the perfect time because inventory at the Pantry has been very challenged to keep up with the demand.” 

Cassville Pantry provides food assistance to Barry County residents who are struggling with making ends meet and are facing food insecurity. More information about Cassville Pantry, located at 800 West 10th St. in Cassville, can be found on their website cassvillepantry.com, on Facebook, or by calling Pantry director, Janet Mills, at 417-846-7871.

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