Parks Canada donates deer meat to local food banks
Don Husband of the Dauphin Food Bank loads deer meat donated by Parks Canada into freezers. The organic, free-range meat is a boon for local families in need © Parks Canada
After the holiday season, at a time when donations are scarce, Parks Canada recently donated 300 kilograms (640 pounds) of processed deer meat to local area food banks. This beautiful gift will help 200 families in the Parkland Region.
The animals were harvested as part of a deer health study and management program in Riding Mountain National Park. Organic and free-range, the meat was inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), then cut and wrapped at a certified meat processing facility before being frozen and finally delivered by park staff to Dauphin, Roblin, Minnedosa, Shoal Lake and Russell food banks.
"We were so excited when park staff arrived. Meat is a very expensive thing to bring to the food bank and it's great, we're thrilled that we received this," said Agnes Kokke, a spokeswoman for the Shoal Lake food bank.
"The park has its boundaries but we exist for the people who live around the park," said Cate Watrous, a communications officer at Riding Mountain, who also mentioned that park employees have done similar donations in the past. "It's a really nice feeling for us to see that we can help." she said, adding it was the perfect gift.