Donate deer to help families in need - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Donate deer to help families in need

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Hunters lucky enough to harvest an extra deer can donate it to help out families in need.

Zillman's Meet Market in Wausau participates in Wisconsin's deer donation program. Hunters can donate deer to the market and then, Zillman's will process the meat for free and give it to a local food pantry.

"We participate in this program because we like to give back to the community and like to help people that are in need," said Pat Zillman, the owner of Zillman's Meat market. He also said the program helps business, because hunters will pay the processing fee some deer and donate others.

Since the program began in 2000, hunters have donated 3.8 million pounds of ground venison, according to the DNR website.

Tom Rau, the Executive Director of The Neighbors' Place said having enough meat is a big struggle for the food pantry. He says having the donated venison helps keep freezers stocked.

"It's just wonderful for people that have grown up here in Wisconsin because we all remember the deer hunt. Maybe some of us, actually when we were younger participated and so we kind of get that little craving for venison when it gets to be this time of year," said Rau.

Donating venison isn't the only way to help out food pantries. Rau says items needed to make holiday meals are in high demand at The Neighbors' Place. He also said the food pantry is always in need of volunteers looking to donate their time.

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