David Horne, Founder Hunters for the Hungry – July 19, 1952 – February 14, 2002
We have completed our 28th year of operating the Hunters for the Hungry program here in Virginia. During this time over 27.7 million servings of venison have been provided to people in need. It all began because of a very special person who learned of a venison distribution program operating in Texas and had the foresight to believe that we could do the same thing in Virginia.
During the summer of 1991, David Horne, then general manager of the Society of St. Andrew, held a meeting to determine the feasibility of the hunters for the hungry concept in Virginia. Involved in this discussion were representatives of the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Association of Meat Processors, the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, the Virginia Federation of Foodbanks, and interested individuals. Information was also available from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Meat and Poultry Inspection.
The outcome of this meeting indicated that venison could be donated, processed, and distributed while complying with all laws and codes applicable in Virginia. It was decided that the program should be administered by a certified 501 (C) (3) organization and that to function best, funds should be raised to cover the costs of having professional meat processors (butchers) accept, cut, wrap, and freeze the deer donated by hunters in Virginia. Distribution would be handled through foodbanks and other charities. The Society of St. Andrew volunteered to take on the project as a pilot effort and Hunters for the Hungry began in Virginia in the fall of 1991.
During the first year, 33,948 pounds of venison were donated, processed, and distributed. The program expanded, and in its second year 68,000 pounds of meat were provided. David was very pleased that Virginia had surpassed the 15,000 pounds that Texas had done during its first year of operation. (He was always competitive; you should have seen him on the golf course.) It became clear that the potential of the program was quite large and the decision was made in January of 1993 to form a separate nonprofit corporation to administer and operate the program. This was accomplished and Virginia Hunters Who Care, Inc. was established and continues to oversee this feeding program.