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Farmers and hunters help feed the hungry

| November 15, 2016

COSHOCTON – About 10 years ago Dewey Thompson wanted to help put a positive spin on a change to the city’s hunting rules. He never imagined that his research would lead him to one of the most fulfilling ministries he’s ever been part of.

“I was invited to be part of a committee to deal with urban deer damage,” Thompson said. “We convinced city council to strike one line from the rules that it was illegal to hunt in city limits.”

At this same time he also discovered Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

“We had to raise our own processing money (to have hunters take part in this) so Joe Miller (from Woodbury) and I each put in $250 each,” Thompson said. “I think we got 500 pounds of meat the first time. I delivered the meat to the Salvation Army the week before Christmas and just hours before that they had run out of beef. I just felt like something had happened there. It was far better of a feeling than anything I’d ever done.”

To take part in the Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry program all a hunter has to do is take their legally harvested deer to a processor listed on the organization’s website and say they want to donate it. The deer is then signed over to the local Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry chapter which then pays the processing fees.

After his first year with the program Thompson started soliciting donations to help cover processing fees. He even helped work out an arrangement with the Ohio Division of Wildlife who made $200,000 in matching funds available to Ohio chapters of Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

“When deer bag limits were up around six we were getting 20,000 pounds or so of meat donated,” he said.

Deer bag limits have since then dropped so for the past five years or so Thompson has worked with the junior fair auction to get more meat sent to Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry. At the 2016 Coshocton County Junior Fair Auction 44 chickens, three ducks, 40 hogs, three lambs, nine turkey and nine rabbits were bought at the fair and donated to provide approximately 5,500 pounds of meat to those in need. Thompson also organizes the Tuscarawas County chapter of Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry and received nearly 4,000 pounds of meat from its junior fair auction.

He is able to direct who receives the meat and said in Coshocton County The Salvation Army, New Life Ministries and Shepherd’s Christian Assembly have all benefited from the program. New Life Ministries also helps out financially with Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

“I think the mission where this has had the highest impact is Shepherd’s Christian Assembly,” Thompson said. “Some of the people that come in there to eat haven’t eaten for days.”

He believes the Coshocton chapter of Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry has processed more than 250,000 pounds of meat since its existence.

Olde Village Meats is the current processor who Thompson works with, but to find others in different counties and states, visit www.fhfh.org.  Anyone wishing to make tax deductible donations to help the Farmers & Hunters Feeding the Hungry Coshocton chapter cover processing fees can send them to FHFH, c/o Dewey Thompson, 218 Cambridge Road, Coshocton, OH 43812.

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Category: Adult, Sports

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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