(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)
JB: Yo, boss, ya know how I occasionally point out that Pennsylvania is more than Philly and has a culture that goes beyond Eagles, Flyers & Phillies games, riding SEPTA and eating cheesesteaks wid?
BE: I do.
JB: Well, as noted in the regular column today, it's the first day of deer season which, for millions of Pennsylvanians, including 900,000 self-identified "deer hunters," is a holiday.
BE: I saw that. Lots of schools across the state are closed. And I see there's a push to allow Sunday hunting, ending a ban that's been in place since 1873.
JB: Yep. Well, what you didn't see was that deer-hunting helps the hungry.
BE: Coyote outreach?
JB: Every year for the last 20 years, the state runs a program called "Hunters Sharing the Harvest" that encourages hunters to donate deer meat to local food banks. The state Department of Agriculture says this helps 1.4 million Pennsylvanians at risk for hunger.
BE: Wait, you're telling me there's a government program that makes sense and fills a need.
JB: From what I can tell, yeah.
BE: This might be news. How's it work?
JB: According to Agriculture Secretary George Greig, hunters can take their "harvested" deer to any of 100 meat-processing sites throughout the state and donate any amount of venison or the whole animal and the department donates $1 per pound to reimburse processors.
BE: So hunters get to do good, processors get business and hungry folks get food?
JB: You're on target. Last year, the department says, the program provided 100,000 pounds of venison to thousands of programs, soup kitchens and food banks in 53 counties.
BE: Makes sense to use what we have to help those in need. And venison is high-protein, low-fat meat.
JB: You know your meat products, chief.
BE: You realize you're actually saying something positive today.
JB: Because I realize it's also bear-hunting season.
BE: So no "Grrrr?"
JB: Not today.