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ND Hunters Could Spell Relief Amid Higher Grocery Bills

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Monday, November 1, 2021   

FARGO, N.D. -- In its latest Food Price Outlook, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said rising food costs might not level off until next year.

In the meantime, a North Dakota project involving hunters could connect households with a key source of nutrition.

Community Action Partnership (CAP) is again carrying out its Sportsmen Against Hunger initiative. Each fall, hunters are encouraged to donate some of their deer and elk meat and other designated game to pre-approved meat processors. The products are delivered to food shelves throughout North Dakota.

Carmel Froemke, statewide outreach coordinator for CAP, said some families might still be recovering from economic hardships caused by the pandemic. She added there's now the issue of more expensive groceries.

"If you've bought any steak or hamburger, chicken, turkey, everything is a higher cost," Froemke observed.

She said the donated meat can serve as a vital source of protein for families in need, especially when these types of products are traditionally hard for food shelves to obtain. Last year, the program saw a record of roughly 4,000 pounds of donated meat. This year, the USDA said food-at-home prices have increased by 2.5%.

Froemke pointed out the rich tradition of North Dakota families going out each fall on hunting trips serves as an inspirational backdrop in the effort to fight hunger. She describes the awareness of sharing the haul with others.

"Some people don't eat deer meat, or they get too much for their family to consume," Froemke noted. "And it's just a great way to benefit the whole community by donating it."

Froemke said they could use the assistance of more processors in western North Dakota to help ensure product is prepped for area food shelves. As for recipients, organizers say they are not required to take any additional steps to take home the donated product.

Disclosure: Community Action Partnership of North Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Community Issues and Volunteering, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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