It may be the first day of buck gun season, but many hunters have already donated the meat from their kills to help feed the hungry. It's all part of Hunters Helping the Hungry, a program that has existed in West Virginia for more than twenty years.
S&J Custom Meats is one local meat processor in Kanawha County that has been working to help the cause. Owner Chuck Coffman says the business has already donated over 800 pounds of meat this year and is expected to increase to drop off another 2,000 pounds by the time the season ends.
"It's a good feeling being able to help people out. A lot of hunters will give their first deer to charity as their first offering and it's great to see," said Coffman.
Before being donated, the meat is first grinded, processed, and then placed in two pound bags at a designated processing center. It is held for pick-up by the Mountaineer Food Bank or the Huntington Area Food Bank.
Since the program's inception in 1992, it has provided venison for more than 1.1 million meals to needy West Virginians.