Hunters filling foodbank freezers feed 40,000 – so far…


Hunters for Hope are filling Canterbury foodbank and community group freezers with what could be called haute-cuisine ingredients: fresh venison offcuts.

So far, the group has dished out 40,000 meals across Canterbury.

Steve Hill and Adam Kreisel are the brains behind the not-for-profit organisation.

They say that 500kg of venison mince has been donated to Rangiora’s Hope Community Trust over the past 18 months.

This has found its way to 17 community groups and foodbanks which then distribute it to the people who need it.

Waste not, want not

Hill and Kreisel aim to donate 500kg of venison mince to the free food freezers every month.

“Last calendar year we did just over two tonnes. This calendar year our target is five tonnes and I think we’re about to blow that a bit.

“Next year hopefully we can get 10 tonnes” they say.

Kreisel said the idea to distribute the meat came about when he and Hill were out hunting together and agreed they were gathering too much meat to eat.

“Our families could take only so much… We sort of came up with the idea that it had to go to people that needed it a lot more than we needed it.”

They designed a logo for Hunters for Hope and approached the Hope Community Trust in Rangiora.

“They said ‘yes please – we’ll definitely take it’, and now that we’ve started giving it to them, they’re [the meat packs] getting spread out more and more throughout North Canterbury, which is great” Kreisel said.

Community effort

The Trust now has fridge freezers strategically located round across North Canterbury so hunters can donate their surplus venison.

“We collect together and run a batch of mince once a month.

“We also get venison trim donated from a couple of large-scale hunting operations that are absolutely fantastic support to us, and without them it wouldn’t be possible.

“When we do big events like the North Canterbury Hunting Competition, the hunters … donated between 100 and 120 deer.

“We processed them over the weekend with a team of guys, and we’ve got that mince ready to go into the food bank on Thursday this week.

“We’ve had a lot of friends approach us as well, saying ‘Hey, we’re keen to get on board and give you guys a hand’ because the animals we took from the competition did need to be skinned, boned and put into the chiller.

“There’s a bit of work involved. We had a crew of 14 guys on board yesterday all helping to do that, which was great.”

There’s a real mix of volunteers Hill says.

Old, young, retired – even “Dad’s Army” – Kreisel’s father and his mates.

Everyone, it seems, wants to help.


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