From roadkill to table, Vermont Fish & Wildlife donates meat

What happens to some animals that are killed out of season or those that end up as roadkill?
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 5:46 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2020 at 4:56 AM EST
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PITTSFORD, Vt. (WCAX) - What happens to some animals that are killed out of season or those that end up as roadkill? The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has found a way to feed the needy.

“Usually when I get low, I call and say, ‘If you have any extra, bring it on down.’ And they’re very gracious to bring it in and our clients love it,” says Robin Rowe, with the Pittsford Food Shelf. She says she’s always glad to see Abigail Serra and Jeff Whipple. The two Game Wardens deliver meat they process themselves to help feed the hungry.

“Any roadkills that are fresh, ones that we have put down, ones that are really fresh, we will cut up for the food shelf. That’s primarily what we use in the summertime, because it’s not hunting season. In the fall, sometimes we’ll have deer that are taken illegally,” says Serra.

They have donated the meat a handful of times over the past few months and given about 80 pounds of meat per donation to the Pittsford Food Shelf.

Whipple says the program began in March at the onset of the pandemic and has given Vermonters about 3,000 pounds of meat.

“People were saying there were going to be meat shortages and people in bad situations couldn’t pay their rent, so we wanted to provide a source of meat for them if possible and also salvage what we can from the road,” says Serra.

Rowe says they were able to provide just over 100 meals this Thanksgiving, reaching about 225 people. She says families are excited to receive the fresh meat. “A lot of people have had venison, but not moose, so they’re very anxious to try the moose,” she said.

People can call Fish & Wildlife and ask for dead animals, but officials say if folks don’t know how to butcher it themselves, the meat could go to waste. This program allows Game Wardens Serra and Whipple to bypass that process and ensure more people get fed this year.

“It is making a difference in our community,” says Rowe.

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