NEW YORK (WWTI) — New York hunters can help food insecurity this holiday season.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is again partnering with the Venison Donation Coalition and Feeding New York State to help provide for those in need.

Through this partnership, New York hunters have the opportunity to donate harvested venison to those in need. New Yorkers can donate whole deer, or a part of it, at a Venison Donation Coalition cooperating processor.

Locations of cooperating processors in the North Country include Miller’s Meat Market in Lowville and Spruce Acres Custom Cutting in Redwood. A full list of processors can be found on the Venison Donation Coalition website. Deer donations can be processed at no cost to the hunter.

Following donations, the Venison Donation Coalition distributes meat through eight regional food banks in New York State. Food banks then distribute venison through local member agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries and churches.

Hunters can also support regional food banks through monetary donations or make direct cash donations to the Venison Donation Coalition when they purchase hunting licenses.

Through the DEC’s partnership with the Coalition and New York State Department of Health, non-profit organizations like Feeding New York State’s regional food banks and deer processors, hunters contribute nearly 40 tons of venison annually.