Sportsmen against hunger helping local families

A Quincy service organization is making sure the Quincy Salvation Army has some extra food on hand for the holidays.

The Quincy Rotary Club and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is again bringing the Sportsmen Against Hunger program to the Tri-States.

It's is off to a good start in the Land of Lincoln. The first firearms season is over and already more than 200 deer have been dropped off at the Butcher Block in Quincy, which is handling the processing.

The Sportsmen against hunger program allows hunters to check in their deer at a participating processor. With the help of local sponsors the venison is processed and given to needy families through organizations like the Quincy Salvation Army.

It comes at a troubling time when the number of people seeking help has increased. The bread lines here doubled to one hundred people Monday.

Major Alan Wurtz said, "It's something we can use right now that we can help somebody in our community. With the economic crisis happening right now we've seen a number more people coming through the doors and we're handing out more food baskets than we have so it's a good way to practically give to the community."

The venison will go into Salvation Army food baskets to help local folks and will be used in the Salvation Army shelter kitchen.

So far 10 to fifteen thousand pounds of venision has been processed at the Butcher Block.

Dan Veihl, owner of the Butcher Block said, "What do people need to do. Just shoot deer. That's all they have to do. There's no processing fee unless they want to donate. Just bring in your deer field dressed and walk away from it."

Organizers say its an easy way for hunters to enjoy their pastime while helping make life easier for folks in need.

The 2008 goal is to process about 450 deer so far they've collected about half of that.

Here is a list of area businesses who've helped make this program possible:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources,Quincy Rotary Club, Butcher Block, Key Outdoor Inc., Gully Transportation, Hilbing Autobody, Mays, Walden & Anastas, P.C. Independent's Service Company, Farm and Home Supply, Quincy Industrial Painting Company, Gem City Cabinetry, Autoshine Car Wash, JH Concrete Construction, Inc., GameMasters, Western Catholic Union, Peters Body Shop & Towing.

Other sponsors included: State Street Bank, Blick's Construction, Albertson Autobody, Priority 1 Printing and Mailing, B&B Enterprises, Bank of Quincy, Poage Auto Plaza, First Bankers Trust,