News release from House Republican CaucusL:
(November 9, 2011, NASHVILLE) – Several members of the Tennessee House of Representatives have partnered with the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) to promote their Hunters for the Hungry program by establishing the Hunters for the Hungry Legislative Challenge.
In this statewide contest, Members of the General Assembly will compete amongst themselves to ascertain which lawmaker can convince the most sportsmen in their district to contribute a Whitetail Deer to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program. The challenge will commence on November 19, 2011 – opening day of the deer season in Tennessee.
Representative Vance Dennis (R–Savannah), who is chairman of this event, remarked, “Tennesseans are proud of our heritage and we all know this State is blessed with an abundance of deer and deer hunters. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation has done an outstanding job establishing and operating their Hunters for the Hungry program over the last several years. With this new challenge, I believe we, as State legislators, have an opportunity to make sure our whitetail deer herd is managed effectively while providing food for those in need. I am delighted to coordinate this event with TWF and make a difference in Tennessee.”
The Hunters for the Hungry program collects thousands of pounds of venison each year for distribution among the various food banks and soup kitchens across the State. “This program is one of the most unique and cost-effective ways to feed hungry people with a healthy, renewable resource,” says Matt Simcox, TWF’s Hunters for the Hungry Coordinator. “We can provide a meal for an average of 25 cents, and one deer can provide an average of 160 meals for those in need in our communities.”
Each participating legislator has agreed to raise funds to pay the processing costs for at least the first ten deer donated to Hunters for the Hungry on the opening day of deer season at participating butcher shops. In addition, volunteers across Tennessee have raised additional funds to cover the reduced costs that participating butchers charge for processing venison donated to the program. Once those funds are depleted, however, sportsmen are required to pay the reduced processing fee for deer they contribute to the program.
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R–Chattanooga), who is participating in the event, highlighted the worthwhile cause of the challenge. “Far too many Tennesseans need a warm meal this time of year. I am very appreciative of Representative Dennis’ effort and leadership of this event. The partnership he has created with the TWF will ensure a lot of individuals receive the help they need. I’m happy to lend my help for this cause.”
“I look forward to seeing which of my colleagues will rise to the challenge and convince the sportsmen in their communities to step up and contribute to this worthy cause. I am hopeful this will become an annual event,” concluded Rep. Dennis.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation is the largest and oldest nonprofit organization in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation, sound management, and enjoyment of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy, and education. Additional information on the challenge and TWF may be found by contacting Matt Simcox at 615-353-1133 or Representative Vance Dennis.