New urban deer rules could provide meat for local food pantries

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Urban deer hunting could be coming to Ashland, and it's impact could stretch all the way to the food pantries.

Last week, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a new urban deer control program that allows communities where high deer densities are causing health and safety concerns to reduce those populations.

Participating cities would be required to salvage the deer meat and donate it to charities wherever possible. If Ashland chooses to participate, the Ashland Food Angels could be one of those charities.

"It's been my passion and purpose to keep as much out of the landfill and redirect as much usable food as possible into the hands of people who need it," says Pamela Joy, Food Angels founder.

Joy says it can be difficult for the food banks to take perishable items, but she makes it a focus of her group because of the health benefits of fresh food. Her group tends to focus on produce, but she says they'd happily accept the deer meat to distribute to those in need.

She only asks that it would be wrapped and prepared to give out to individuals and families before being delivered to her organization.

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