Anne Arundel Announces Venison Food Relief Program

deer, deer silhouette, silhouette Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has announced a new program to provide venison meat to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank for distribution to families in need.

Beginning November 1 and ending December 30, the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC) will run the Venison Food Relief Program to provide licensed deer hunters $50 for each legally harvested deer. The program will be paid for with funds allocated to the county from the federal CARES Act. To participate in the program, hunter must have all necessary licenses and permits, follow Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunting regulations, and bring harvested deer to Harwood Butcher Shop with green tag attached and completed form.

From the press release:

“Local farmers report that crop damage from deer is their greatest obstacle when attempting to grow the local produce that has been so important to our residents during this pandemic,” said County Executive Pittman. “Past efforts to reduce the deer population through managed hunts and crop damage permits have not been effective because no incentives were offered to hunters. This first-in-the-state program will have the dual benefit of getting quality meat to our food bank for residents who need it, and reducing the population of deer that would otherwise destroy next year’s crops. It’s smart and it’s cost-effective.”

Many families are experiencing food insecurity through the pandemic and this program will help reduce crop damage on county farms as well as provide supplemental income to hunters according to AAEDC President and CEO Ben Birge.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.