ENOLA, Pa. (CBS) – For the more than 1.5 million Pennsylvanians at risk for hunger, it might be venison on the table this Thanksgiving.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest, an organization that helps hunters donate slain deer meat to be distributed by food banks and soup kitchens, is encouraging the state’s hunters to take their deer to one of Pennsylvania’s 90 participating meat processing plants in an effort to feed the hungry.

Hunters can donate any amount of venison they choose, from a few pounds to the entire animal. Any hunter who donates an entire animal is asked to make a donation of $15 (tax deductible) to help process the meat.

“Hunger is a reality for more than 600,000 Pennsylvania families who wonder how they’ll find their next meal,” Agriculture Secretary George Greig said on Tuesday, during an event to kick off the program at Diller’s Custom Deer Processing in Enola, Cumberland County. “I encourage all hunters to donate venison this holiday season.”

According to Hunters Sharing the Harvest, venison is a low fat, high protein meat, and the organization donated nearly 100,000 pounds of it to feed the hungry in 2012.

For more info on the program, visit: www.sharedeer.org

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