Share the harvest

Bread of Life food pantry looking for venison donations

BALDWIN — Last year, the Bread of Life food pantry in Baldwin saved $1,200 on meat costs when hunters donated 600 pounds of venison to the pantry. With an increase in the numbers of families using the pantry this year, organizers are seeking venison donations as the hunting season approaches. 

Kathy Merchant, Bread of Life food pantry director, said hunters interested in donating venison to the pantry can take the deer to the Meat Shack, located

at 12642 N. Woodbridge Ave., Bitely, which will process the deer for free. 

“There will be a donation day for the food pantry in Baldwin on Nov. 19. On that day the Santa Claus parade kicks off the holiday festivities and downtown Baldwin businesses will have open houses. Collection jars for the pantry will be placed at these businesses and we will also be collecting venison donations that day,” Merchant said. 

Lynne Mills, committee member of the Bread of Life food pantry, said any venison donations will be of great help. 

“So far this year, the pantry has handed out approximately 6,166 bags of groceries to those in need. That is why we need help. We only have so much money in the budget and the numbers of families using the pantry is increasing,” Mills said. “We are paying only $4.37 for a bag of groceries, but we have only been able to keep that cost minimal through food donations.”

Merchant said the biggest grocery expense for the pantry is meat, which is why venison donations are so helpful. 

“So far this year we have received 50 pounds of venison and some bear meat,” she said. “In addition to venison people acquire from hunting, if there is a deer that is hit on the road, people can contact the police and they will help make sure the deer gets donated to the food pantry and get what meat is salvageable from the deer.”