Carp meat joins venison on DNR’s charity menus

Springfield — Be it a deer burger or a carp tacos, hunters and
anglers in Illinois are being cast as an important source of food
for the state’s needy.

Based on the long-standing Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger
program, DNR’s new initiative is called “Target Hunger Now!” The
effort is projected to provide food banks throughout the state with
venison donated by Illinois hunters and fish from Illinois
waters.

The new endeavor is not replacing the successful 15-year-old ISAH
program, DNR spokesman Chris McCloud said. Instead, it will serve
as a sort of umbrella program. A pair of recent pilot feedings in
the Chicago area featuring Asian carp were very successful, McCloud
noted.

DNR is coordinating the program to encourage hunters to donate to
the program whole deer for processing into ground venison. The
agency also will be working with commercial fishing operations to
provide abundant Mississippi River Asian carp for processing into
high-protein, ready-to-prepare servings later this year.

“We want to encourage hunters to help us manage the deer herd by
taking deer – and maybe an extra deer – this fall and donating them
to the program,” DNR Director Marc Miller said. “We can also make
use of the abundance of Asian carp in Illinois as commercial nets
haul in tens of thousands of pounds of fish for processing and
distribution to food banks.”

DNR hopes thousands of pounds of fish can be processed regularly
along with the distribution of 100,000 pounds of donated venison
this year as part of “Target Hunger Now!”

Partners with the DNR on “Target Hunger Now!” include Comcast, the
Beta Club of Illinois, the Illinois Conservation Foundation,
FeedingIllinois.org, and the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger
program.

Individuals, companies or others interested in supporting the
program can contact the DNR at (217) 785-0075.

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