Firearms deer season is right around the corner, and Governor Jay Nixon plans to participate again in the Share the Harvest program. He’s calling on the rest of the state’s hunters to do the same.

Govenor Jay Nixon discusses Share the Harvest as the Executive Director of the Missouri Conservation Federation, Dave Murphy looks on.

He has traveled the state talking about Share the Harvest, and announcing $1 million that will go to the state’s Association of Food Banks to help support needy families. The money will come from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which the state administers. The Food Banks will invest more than $150,000 of that to Share to continue its growth.

Grow, it has. Nixon says in the last two decades, over 2 million pounds of venison has been donated through the program. In 2010 about 6,100 deer were donated resulting in over 350,000 pounds of meat, up from 4,600 deer in 2009 and 4,200 in 2008.

Nixon is challenging the state’s hunters to hit the 10,000 mark this year. That would translate to food for about 100,000 families thanks to the additional support of that TANF money.

In much of the state, hunters pay nothing or a reduced rate to have deer processed for Share. A list of participating processors can be found by going here.