A lobbying effort to allow donations of moose meat to food banks in Newfoundland and Labrador has paid off.
The provincial government has announced, beginning today, a special permit will be made available to registered food banks allowing them to accept and distribute donations of moose and caribou meat.
In a news release, the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture said the move comes after consultation with the Community Food Sharing Association which represents 54 registered food banks operating in the province.
It also follows longtime efforts of a lobby group called Hunters Sharing the Harvest NL.
Hunters in Newfoundland and Labrador can now donate moose and caribou meat to local food banks. https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/ffa/1116n02/Posted by Sharing The Harvest NL on Monday, November 16, 2020
“This has the potential to make a positive impact to the food security issue in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the group’s Barry Fordham in the release.
Fordham said Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture Elvis Loveless had “showed his support by going all in” and he also recognized the Newfoundland Outdoor Heritage Coalition Inc., Newfoundland Sportsman Magazine, the Social Justice Co-operative, the Canadian Food Sharing Association, and Food First NL “for their collective efforts to make this a reality.”
Fordham is sure hunters are ready to contribute.
“Hunters have a history of sharing their harvest with family and friends,” he said.
The necessary permits can be obtained from the department up to one week after the close of the big-game hunting season, which falls on Jan. 7, 2021. All registered food banks are eligible for the special permit. Hunters may donate meat directly to participating food banks or through Sharing the Harvest NL.
All donated moose and caribou must be processed at a government-licensed meat processing facility. Home butchered or processed wild game will not be considered acceptable for donation to food banks.
“This initiative will go a long way in addressing household food insecurity in this province, which according to a PROOF Insecurity and Policy Research study for 2017-18, has some of the highest rates across Canada,” said Debbie Wiseman of Social Justice Co-operative NL.
Registered food banks wishing to apply for a permit can contact Wildlife Division officials (709-637-2025).