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Local FHFH expects record venison donations

January 20, 2010
By Larry Claypool, OV Times Editor
LISBON, OH — Deer hunters in the Columbiana County area are expected to donate a record number of venison that will benefit needy families in 2010. Since the inception of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program (FHFH) in 2006, thousands of households in the Columbiana County area have been provided venison at no cost.

The local program is run through the Community Action Agency (CAA) in Lisbon with Carol F. Bretz as Director. The NEO FHFH chapter raises funds all year to pay for deer processing for the donated venison. The meat is distributed through two agencies, the CAA and Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services (CCDJFS). During the last fiscal year the CAA served 249 households with venison and CCDJFS served 756. That benefitted 3,611 total individuals with 2,424 packages of meat.

The NEO Chapter expects to surpass the 90 deer that were donated last season. That followed 80 deer donated in 2007 and 40 during the first year. “We expected to have 5-6 deer donated. We were greatly surprised to have 40 deer donated,” said Bretz of that initial effort.

Bretz and CCDJFS Director Eileen Dray Bardon recently appeared before the Columbiana County Board of Commissioners to update them on the status of the NEO FHFH and provide statistics from last year’s hunting season.

“The program began in 2006 and was a means to provide meat for both agencies food pantries at a lesser cost than buying meat at retail prices,” Bretz told the commissioners. “Area hunters donated 40 deer the first year, 80 deer the second year and 90 deer this past hunting season. Deer can be dropped off at one of four approved meat processors, Horst Packing near Columbiana, Leetonia IGA, Winona Frozen Foods, and Gateway Farm & Freezer in Enon Valley, Pennsylvania.”

This year the Ohio Division of Wildlife will match every dollar raised by FHFH, according to Bretz.

“This is a great partnership among the agencies, the hunters and the meat processors and the meat gives low-income families a great source of locally produced protein. It is a renewable resource”, said Barton.

Bretz noted that “donating a deer is a significant commitment on the part of a hunter because of the time and effort involved in the field, including field dressing the animal and transporting it to a meat processor. We are very grateful to the hunters who participate in our program”.

Anyone who wants to make a monetary donation to the program can send a check to: NEO FHFH c/o the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County, 7880 Lincole Place, Lisbon, Ohio 44432. The CAA is a 501 (3) (c) tax exempt organization. For more information on Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, visit the Website at

Contact information to pick up processed deer for the 2009-10 hunting season at the CAA is: Barb Brown at 330-424-7221, ext. 511 or Amy Wilson at 330-424-7221, ext. 509. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The CCDJFS contacts are: Carrie Burgess at 330-424-1471 ext. 3210 and Carol Harvey at 330-424-1471 ext. 1100. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



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