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Hunters hope to donate a half-tonne of venison every month

Jul 03, 2024

Two hunters with an idea to donate off-cut meat have now dished out 40,000 meals across Canterbury.

Through their not-for-profit organisation Hunters For Hope, 500kg of venison mince has been donated to the Hope Community Trust over the past 18 months, sent out to 17 community groups and food banks.

Steve Hill and Adam Kreisel told Checkpoint they aimed to donate 500kg of venison mince every month.

Kreisel said the idea started through hunting together and finding they were gathering too much meat.

"Our families could only take so much… We sort of came up with the idea that it had to go to people that needed it a lot more than what we needed it."

The pair designed a logo for Hunters for Hope and approached the Hope Community Trust in Rangiora, which was on board with the idea.

"They said 'yes please - we'll definitely take it', and now that we've started giving it to them, they're getting spread out more and more throughout North Canterbury, which is great," Kreisel said.

He said they now have fridge freezers strategically located round across North Canterbury so hunters can donate their surplus venison.

"We collect together and run a batch of mince once a month. We also get venison trim donated from a couple of large-scale hunting guiding operations that are absolutely fantastic support to us, and without them it wouldn't be possible."

He said he did not know until a couple of days ago the number of meals that had been produced across Canterbury.

"When we do big events like we did this last weekend and we went up to the The North Canterbury Hunting Competition, the hunters at the competition donated between 100 and 120 deer. We processed them over the weekend with a team of guys, and we've got that mince ready to go into the food bank on Thursday this week."

He said a group of his dad's friends had been giving the hunters a helping hand.

"We've had a lot of friends approach us as well, saying, 'Hey, we're keen to get on board and give you guys a hand, 'cause the animals we took from the competition did need to be skinned, boned and put into the chiller.'

"There's a bit of work involved. We had a crew of 14 guys on board yesterday all helping to do that, which was great."

Hill told Checkpoint some of the hunters helping were from other rural endeavours around North Canterbury, some retired and keen to help out their community.

"Some of the team of guys is Adam's father, Hans Kreisel and his team of mates. We call them 'Dad's Army' because they're a fantastic group of old buggers, keen as mustard.

"They might not be able to work a whole day, but they do what they can, and they do it with a smile. It's great to get the old fellas back out and doing something."

He said the community trust took the meat in as mince and then dispersed it.

"Last calendar year we did just over two tonne. This calendar year our target is five tonnes, and I think we're about to blow that a bit. Next year hopefully we can get 10 tonne."

Main image: Dariush Lolaiy's chargrilled venison.

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