JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri hunters have a chance to share their love of hunting with others — in the form of food.

The Missouri Department of Conservation hosts the annual Share the Harvest program. It allows hunters to donate surplus venison to a deer processor — which will then be gifted to local food pantries and food-insecure residents through various programs.

The meat still has to be tested for Chronic Wasting Disease if the deer was harvested in a CWD Management Zone — like in Jasper, Barton and Vernon counties — which usually takes a couple weeks.

“Share the Harvest has been going on in Missouri since 1992. And since that time, more than 5 million pounds of venison have been contributed to Share the Harvest to various families around the state. So, a lot of meat has gone to a lot of families that have needed it,” said Francis Skalicky, Missouri Department of Conservation Media Specialist.

To find a participating deer processor in your county click here.