Eleven local food charities will share in a bounty of venison thanks to donations from a local hunters group and a church, along with the efforts of volunteers.
The charities, which include food banks in Baker City, Huntington, Halfway and North Powder, as well as some churches and schools, will receive hamburger made from deer and elk meat salvaged by the Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
And the meat is free, said Bob Borders of Baker City, who is one of five members of the Baker City Christian Church who process the meat.
In the past the charities had to pay processing fees, averaging about 80 cents per pound of meat and the expense was too much for some of them, Borders said.
“It’s just a blessing for them,” he said. “I just think it’s really cool that we can keep this game meat in our community.”
The generosity that makes this new program possible comes from several sources.
Borders said Phillip Perrine, a biologist at the ODFW’s Baker City office, discussed the concept with Pastor Jesse Whitford of the Baker City Christian Church.
Charlie Brinton, who has been a member of the Baker County chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association for more than 20 years, raised the matter at a chapter meeting and the group decided to donate $200, as well as to buy about $800 in meat-processing equipment, including a heavy-duty grinder.
See more in the Nov. 20, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.