Looking Forward to Fall & the Hunger Shootout

Hey Friends,

So it’s usually pretty quiet around here during the off-season but it’s time to start planning ahead for Fall which brings all of our favorite things (hunting season, football, most importantly hunting season). In between now and then we plan to schedule a hog hunt to get us through (more information coming soon), we’re incredibly excited for the Florida Bear Hunts in October, and right now we’re rallying teams and sponsors for our 2nd Annual Hunger Shootout.

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Last year’s clay shoot was a huge success and a great time!  The Hunger Shootout is scheduled for September 19th at FishHawk Sporting Clays in Lithia, FL. Fish Hawk is a beautiful, easy to navigate course. Proceeds benefit Wild Game Food Bank and the Polk County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Scholarship Fund.

I hope that you’ll join us.

Cost: $125/person includes ammunition (12 or 20 gauge), cart & lunch

There are sponsorships opportunities for stations, ammo, shirts & more. Check out the link below to register teams and sponsorships. View the Polk County Farm Bureau’s website (www.pcfb.org) for more information or click the link direct below.

Hunger Shootout Online Registration

Shoot us an email at wildgamefoodbank@gmail.com or call 863-845-6562 for more information. I can’t wait to see you there!

Happy Hunting,

Caitlin

Caitlin Meadows
WGFB Founder

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Successful Hunting Season? You be the Judge.

So, I was reading a recent post from the Trophy Taker Outdoors Radio Show on how you gauge a successful hunting season. Having fun and making memories is great but it got me thinking, around here I gauge it by pounds of meat harvested. So, I’ve calculated the donations from the last few weeks and have updated our numbers. So far this season to date, we have coordinated 928 lbs of wild game meat to soup kitchens and food pantries that feed our neighbors in need.

928 lbs of Meat Creates about 2,475 Servings

And the season isn’t over yet! It may have wrapped up in most parts of the State but Zone B (and Zone D) are open until February 22nd. So check the zone maps if you need to, plan a hunt, checkout the management areas, and if you have a successful hunt – give us a call to make your donation!

p.s. You can view our Processing page to find the processor/drop-off nearest you!

Caitlin

Caitlin Meadows
WGFB President

We Started the New Year Hog Hunting

Wild Game Food Bank Hog Hunting in 2015

Wild Game Food Bank Hog Hunting in 2015

We’re eight days into the new year and things have picked up. Our Hillsborough, Polk, and DeSoto Outfits have received donations. I made a drop-off to The Mission of Winter Haven this morning, and there is more meat waiting at the processors to be distributed. If that’s any indication, it looks like the remainder of hunting season (and New Year) could be successful.

We rang in the New Year with our friends, the Ceperos. Lee Cepero is the owner and host of the outdoor radio show Trophy Taker Outdoors. He and his wife, Dawn, invited us to spend a few days at their hunting camp in Highlands County.  So, we packed up our camo and rifles and headed South.

It was the last weekend of hunting in this zone, and not quite rutting conditions at our lease. So, needless to say, we were happy to go hunting and spend some time with good friends. Our kids played, we rode the buggy, the men cooked (and cleaned the hogs), and I even got to sit in the treestand multiple days in a row. I believe that could be defined as a Southern Mama’s paradise. Yes, priorities have changed in the last few years for me. I traded in my sequined New Year’s Eve dress for a ThermaCell and the woods. I love spending time with Hubs, I want to be a proficient hunter by the time William is ready to sit in the treestand (because him and Dad can’t have all the fun without me!), and I don’t expect our hunter friends to be the only folks contributing wild game to WGFB. I was on a mission.

The The Meadows and Cepero Familiesfirst afternoon in the woods Dawn and I were dropped off at what looked to be a promising spot, and the husbands and kiddos went riding in search of some hogs. Well our promising spot quickly turned into a windy/mosquito/not an animal in sight mess. No worries. One afternoon down, several more to go. Besides, we had a campfire and s’mores to get to.

The next morning (and first hunt of 2015) Lee and I set out to shoot something. We got in the stand early and waited for the sun to rise. The wind was right but things were quiet. As we debated who was the smelliest (he blamed me, I blamed him; and if you heard us on-air last weekend, yes, I might have been wearing make-up but only because I was confident that he would put me on something worth shooting) the morning ticked on. We sat a little later than we planned and it paid off. Storming in came a 250 lbs hog but I didn’t have a shot. We waited for him to round a tree, out popped a hog, and I took him down. Well, the big guy had left and I shot his smaller, not as impressive friend but I was happy. We had meat for our soup kitchens and a fun morning hunt. We snapped our first ever hog selfie and headed to camp to cook some bacon.

We got a couple more hunts in before heading back to Polk County. We had a great time and couldn’t have been happier to kick off 2015 hunting for Wild Game Food Bank.

Now home, we have several weeks left of the season, and the rut is just getting started in our part of zone B. I know we’ll be hunting as much as we can and hope you will be too. Be sure to give us a call if you find yourself with wild game to spare.

Next week I’ll tally up our donations to date and we’ll see where we’re at. Keep ’em coming!

Caitlin

Caitlin Meadows
WGFB President

New Year, New Hog Hunt

Dec 5th & 6th Orange Blossom Revue: To Benefit Wild Game Food Bank

Orange Blossom Revue Dec 5-6

The Orange Blossom Revue is December 5-6, 2014 in Lake Wales, FL. This BBQ competition and festival will benefit Wild Game Food Bank.

Please mark your calendars to attend and support Wild Game Food Bank! Enjoy craft beer from Florida Brewery Cigar City Brewing, the Florida Tastemaker’s Marketplace that features Florida based artisans and craftsmen that we’re proud to call fellow Southerners.

The Orange Blossom Revue will take place December 5th & 6th in Lake Wales, Florida to benefit Wild Game Food Bank as well as other great community organizations.

Meat Drop-Off Locations

Are you a Hunter Looking to Get Involved?

Check Out the Wild Game Food Bank Drop-Off Location Near You

Wild Game Food Bank coordinates the donation and processing of wild game harvests to food pantries and soup kitchens that feed our neighbors. We professionally process wild game harvests to obtain the highest percentage of meat per animal. When professionally cleaned we typically get ground burger or sausage. This allows the meat to have the most versatility with dishes when prepared and served.

See below to find a drop-off/processor near you. Interested in helping us start a new Outfit? Give us a call 863-845-6562. We would love to speak with you if you are a hunter or meat processor and think a Wild Game Food Bank Outfit could benefit your community. 

Different Processors have different needs. Hillsborough & DeSoto County can receive whole harvests. Please get in touch with us regarding the typical donation procedures in your area.

DeSoto County (can accept whole harvests)
Fussell’s Meat Market
Location: 2039 SE Carlstrom Field Road, Arcadia, FL 34266
Phone: (863) 494-2112

Hillsborough County (can accept whole harvests)
Al’s Wild Meat Processing
Location:10010 Simmons Ranch Ct, Riverview, FL 33578
Phone: (813) 299-6153
Call ahead to coordinate your drop-off

Lake/Sumter County
Baker’s Custom Meats
Location:12287 CR 223 (Off Hwy 466)
Phone: (352) 748-3317
Call ahead to coordinate your drop-off

Polk County
Chop N Block
Location:Cypress Gardens Rd., Winter Haven, FL 33884
Hours (Fall-Spring): 7 am – 8 pm
(During the off-season call ahead & we’ll make sure someone is available to meet you)
Phone: (863) 662-1007

To Learn more about Wild Game Food Bank visit our website www.wildgamefoodbank.com. Be sure to visit our Benefiting Organization page to learn about the great soup kitchens and food pantries that receive our donations.

December 5th & 6th

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 Orange Blossom Revue

A Fundraiser for Wild Game Food Bank

The first weekend in December, the shores of Lake Wailes will be filled with the sweet smell of barbecue! The first ever Orange Blossom Revue will feature Friday night’s “Moonlight Serenade” BBQ kickoff party, a Florida BBQ Association sanctioned barbecue competition all day Saturday, the Florida Tastemaker’s Marketplace with artisans and vendors from across the state.  Friday and Saturday will feature live music from local and national talent and feature a special guest appearance by John Carter Cash (Sonof Johnny & June Carter Cash).

Want to compete? Sign up your Pro or Backyard Team Today. Click Here!

Want to volunteer with WGFB behind the scenes? Email us wildgamefoodbank@gmail.com 

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Looking Ahead & Needing Volunteers

Grateful but Always Looking Ahead

As I took the time this past week to write several thank you notes following last month’s Hunger Shootout (if you missed it, read more here!) It hit me, in July I didn’t know how successful it would be, and I didn’t realize how quickly our first organized fundraiser would come.

It’s now October, The Hunger Shootout has passed, and I’m looking ahead to the Orange Blossom Revue in December; Just two short months away. An even bigger event, with more moving parts, more wonderful people collaborating to host it, and more potential for Wild Game Food Bank to gain ways and means to continue our mission…to be Hunters on a Mission.

I hope that the friends of Wild Game Food Bank plan to join us in December. Do you want to compete in the BBQ competition? Or maybe you just want to eat some good ole BBQ and enjoy the festivities (admission is just $1). Or, maybe, just maybe you see yourself getting more involved with Wild Game Food Bank and stepping up to volunteer. If that’s the case, let us know. We’ll be glad to have the extra set of hands, and we’ll be glad to meet more members of our community who enjoy giving back.

To Volunteer Email wildgamefoodbank@gmail.com or call/text 863.845.6562 

See You in December,

Caitlin

Caitlin Meadows
WGFB President

Last Month’s Inaugural Hunger Shootout was a Success

POLK COUNTY FARM BUREAU SPORTING CLAYS TOURNAMENT RAISED FUNDS FOR 20,000 MEALS AND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS

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BARTOW, FLA. Polk County Farm Bureau (PCFB) recently hosted the Hunger Shootout Saturday, September 13, 2014 at FishHawk Sporting Clays in Lithia, Fla. to benefit the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Scholarship Fund and Wild Game Food Bank (WGFB). The Hunger Shootout sporting clay tournament raised enough funds for WGFB to process meat for approximately 20,000 meals and funds to award multiple scholarships to deserving high school students who are pursuing a career in agriculture.

“The Hunger Shootout was a great success as a fundraiser, and an even greater success as an opportunity for members of the agriculture industry and our community from around the county to come together and enjoy a beautiful summer morning, “ said MJ Carnevale, YF&R Chairman. “YF&R Thanks WGFB for all their hard work in setting up this event and looks forward to making it an annual tradition.”

PCFB and WGFB intend to team up again next year to make the Hunger Shootout an annual event.

We’re thrilled to be apart of this great event, said Caitlin Meadows, WGFB President. We are grateful for PCFB, and for the teams and sponsors that participated.

WGFB is the PCFB Womens Committee charity of choice. This honorable organization coordinates wild game donations to help feed members of the community in Polk, Hillsborough, and Lake Counties. To learn more about this organization visit www.wildgamefoodbank.com.

Founded in 1942, Polk County Farm Bureau represents more than 4,400 member families and is directed by a 25-member board of farmers, growers and ranchers. The organization works with educators, government officials and opinion leaders to enhance and protect the viability of agriculture in Polk County. For more information contact Carole McKenzie at carolem@pcfb.org or (863) 533-0561.

Fall is Upon Us i.e. It’s Our Birthday!

The Fall is an exciting time of year for our family. It means football, bonfire dreaming, and the start of hunting season. Around our house we run on season years and so does Wild Game Food Bank. The anticipation of a new hunting season brings much excitement, and this Fall is especially dear to us since it’s the start of our second season.

This month marked the one-year anniversary of Wild Game Food Bank, and a busy year it’s been! 

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We started out working under the support of a fund setup by The Mission of Winter Haven. They had faith in Wild Game Food Bank, and we’re very grateful for this incredible organization. Since this time we’ve done a lot to get started. And by getting started I mean coordinating hunter harvests that totaled 5,175 meat servings, and branching out into two additional Counties!

In the first year, Wild Game Food Bank raised 5,175 meat servings for neighbors in need.

Processed Meat in Cooler Stocking The Mission FreezerFreezer Full of Meat

Just this month we even secured a DeSoto County processor that will accept and process meat from hunters in that area, we participated in the Polk County Farm Bureau’s Hunger Shootout sporting clays tournament  (more to come on that!), and we also finalized our Articles of Incorporation. It’s been a wonderful year, and we know it’s because there is a need in our community that we’re helping to meet. We also know that our Faith and community have chosen to support us, and for that we are beyond grateful.

So, as we move into our second season, we ask that you keep us in mind.

Become a Hunter on a Mission.

Turn your passion for hunting into a passion for serving others.

Happy Hunting & Happy Birthday to Wild Game Food Bank!

Many Blessings,
Caitlin

Caitlin Meadows
WGFB President

The Meadows Family: Wild Game Food Bank

 

In The Field Magazine Cover Story

September 2014 Issue

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When Melissa Nichols, a photographer and writer for In The Field Magazine, called earlier in the year to learn more about Wild Game Food Bank I was honored and excited about the opportunity to tell our community about Wild Game Food Bank’s mission. She and I talked on and off throughout the summer and decided that with the kick-off of hunting season, September was the perfect time to highlight Wild Game Food Bank. We’re very appreciative of the support.

View the Online Cover Story Here

View the Print Story Here

So, with the start of hunting season, pick up a copy of In The Field Magazine and keep us in mind if you find yourself blessed with too many harvests this season.

Happy Hunting,
Caitlin

Caitlin Meadows
President
Wild Game Food Bank