It’s time for hunters to clean out their freezers to make room for this year’s hunting season.
Hunters can take what they cleaned out to Minden Floral, from 1 until 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27. to be donated to the Joe LeBlanc Food Pantry and Minden Teen Challenge.

Director Jessica Lewissays other food item donations will be accepted as well. The only thing donors need to remember is that wild hog will not be accepted.

“This is the third year we’ve done it and it’s sponsored by the Minden chapter of the Hunters for the Hungry,” she said. “It’s a nationwide event, and in Louisiana, I was told that Minden receives more donations than any other city, which was a shock to me.”

The first year the event was held, she says they collected more than 1,000 pounds of wild game and food to distribute to their clients. Last year, she says they collected about 700 pounds. She says this year everyone is hoping to beat the first year’s total.

“It doesn’t just have to be meat,” she said. “It can be canned goods, dry goods, any frozen foods. That food is going to be taken and divided between Joe LeBlanc and Minden Teen Challenge.”

Freezers will be on site ready to accept the donated goods, Lewis said. Hunters for the Hungry hosts the event at Minden Floral because they have freezers normally used for their flowers on site to handle the influx of donations.

Nonperishable goods that will be accepted can include flour, sugar, cornmeal, pasta and other staple items. They accept pasta sauces, peanut butter and other nonperishable goods, she said.

All donations must be dated and labeled.

She says last year, they received frozen pies, turkey, deer meat, frozen vegetables, and other frozen foods.

While the food pantry accepts frozen foods and nonperishables, she says meat donations are very limited, and through the avenue of Hunters for the Hungry, this gives them an opportunity to offer meat in the food boxes they distribute.

“Very rarely do we have meat as an option to purchase from the North Louisiana Food Bank,” she said. “Hunters for the Hungry came to me that very first year, and asked if we would be willing to accept deer meat. We weren’t going to turn away meat, because that’s a huge blessing.”

For those who wish to donate wild game and cannot make it to the event Sunday, Lewis says it must go through Wild Thangs Processing or a processor certified by the Hunters for the Hungry program.

“The donor has to take it to a processor, they will get it ready and notify us to come pick it up,” she said.

And if needed, donors will not have to get out of their vehicles at Minden Floral, she said. Hunters and volunteers from the JLFP and Minden Teen Challenge will be on hand to unload their donations.
Can’t make it on Clean Out Your Freezer Day? Call or email Virginia at Hunters for the Hungry at (225) 765-2860 or hfh@wlf.la.gov, or Lewis at 465-6726.

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