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      Share the Harvest

      The Missouri Department of Conservation is asking all deer hunters to consider sharing their harvest. The "Share the Harvest" initiative is a nationally recognized program where hunters donate their venison to food pantries.

      Locally, the Missouri Department of Conservation has teamed up with Wal-Mart, Sharkey Transportation, and Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity to make sure that your harvest gets to a local food bank which serves families in need right here in Kirksville.

      If you'd like to share, all you have to do is bring your deer to the Kirksville Wal-Mart parking lot and members of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity will load the deer into a refrigerated 18-wheeler. From there, the meat will be taken to a local meat processor and then be donated to the Christian Community Food Depot. Both, Governor Jay Nixon and a local conservation agent said this program fills a critical need in the community.

      "We've raised additional dollars so we can take in 10,000 deer," said Governor Nixon. "We've gone from 4,200 to 4,600 to 6,100. So, I'm asking all those hunters out there that if Saturday morning or anytime during season, if they get a deer, really consider sharing the harvest so that those food pantries can have the protein to help families in need."

      "It's really an essential component I think for where we are right now," said Conservation agent Marsha Jones. "A lot of folks who are having trouble making ends meet-this allows them to come twice a month to the food pantry. This is one thing the food pantry really can't afford to buy for folks. So this is really great because we get a lot of extra deer that needs to be harvested.

      Fraternity members will be accepting deer donations at the Kirksville Wal-Mart Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. They will also accept deer this week, Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.