Hunters donate 800 pounds of venison to Food Bank of the Albemarle

Posted at 8:11 PM, Jan 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-13 21:18:28-05

Elizabeth City, NC - It's a feeling Justin Perry only gets a few times a year during hunting season.

"To see a deer out there in front of you, and your heart gets beating. To harvest that deer... it's just a joy," he told NewsChannel 3.

But nothing tops the feeling of knowing that deer meat is going toward a needy family.

"I feel like it's amazing that you feed a family with something you like to do with deer hunting. Just to know they have an extra meal this week through what we've done," Perry said.

He and a few of his hunting friends call themselves the "Soul Hunters."

Their mission is to hunt deer, and donate the meat.

This year, they got 20 deer, and donated it to the Food Bank of the Albemarle.

Twenty deer turned into 800 pounds of venison, and more than 600 meals for families.

"It was kind of surprising. We didn't know the response we were going to have to venison," Jim Thompson, the director of operations at the food bank told NewsChannel 3.

But when word got out, the phones started ringing.

"Before we were even able to receive the processed meat, we were already receiving numerous calls from clients looking forward to or expecting venison," he said.

People were able to pick the venison for the first time today, but when NewsChannel 3 got there, all the meat was gone.

Everyone wanted it.  Mary Gregory got there just in time.

"I would say it's nothing but a blessing. Cause they didn't have to bring it here, they could have brought it somewhere else," Gregory said.

And for Perry, knowing that he's a part of that "blessing" is a feeling unlike any other.