New donation program to provide more food in central Illinois

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — University of Illinois Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education recently funded a new project that partners with hunters and meat processors to help expand food access in central Illinois.

University officials said the Health Equity Achieved Together Project is a multi-disciplinary project with Illinois SNAP-Ed and other programs within the University of Illinois Extension. The programs will develop and implement innovative strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce community barriers to healthier lifestyles.

According to officials, the Illinois Deer Donation Program Pilot is a part of this project. They are asking meat processors, hunters and food pantries in 12 central Illinois counties (Clay, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, and Shelby) for donations.

People will be able to get lean protein from deer hunters and the meat processors. Customers will also receive recipes and resources from the Illinois Extension to help them prepare venison at home.

“This will be an opportunity for hunters to help tackle food insecurity in their communities while doing something they enjoy,” said Extension SNAP-Ed educator Michelle Fombelle.

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