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Hunters for the Hungry loses state funding as Tennessee fights spread of coronavirus

State budget changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 left a major gap in Hunters for the Hungry's budget, according to officials from the program.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As Tennessee changes its budget to allocate money towards slowing the spread of COVID-19, the Hunters for the Hungry program lost some of its funding.

The Hunters for the Hungry program provides more than half a million servings of venison to Tennesseans each year, according to a press release. Through the program, hunters can donate their bagged deer to be processed and delivered to hunger relief organizations. 

A single deer can give up to 168 servings of venison, according to officials from the program. Hunters for the Hungry donated 140,401 pounds of venison to food banks and emergency shelters in 2019, according to a press release.

However, the spread of coronavirus has caused unemployment to skyrocket across the U.S. which may create more demand for food banks, officials from the program said. They also said the program may not be able to meet the increased need.

RELATED: Hunters for the Hungry program accepting deer donations in Knox County and beyond

“There will always be a need Hunters for the Hungry can fill,” said Matt Simcox, Hunters for the Hungry program manager. “But this year, there will be more families needing help than ever before.”

Anyone interested in donating to the program can donate online, through the Tennessee Wildlife Federation's website.

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