Keristen Holmes at KTBS 3 News reports:
A local charity lost hundreds of pounds of meat that was supposed to feed the homeless when it was destroyed by a State Health Inspector. But the homeless shelter says.. it was all a big mistake and the state is responsible — or at the very least, two state agencies seem to be in conflict. KTBS 3′s Keristen Holmes spoke with officials about what happened. Hunter’s for the Hungry is a program where sportsmen can donate any extra game they have to charity. The program is endorsed on the Louisiana Departmet of Wildlife’s website but the State Health Department says, they don’t recognize the program. In the meantime a local shelter has to spend more than $8,000 to replace the meat.
Bonnie Condon donates to the rescue mission regularly. She said this mistake hurts people in our area who need all the help they can get. “These folks count on donations from folks in the community and if they destroyed something that was in fact good. I think they should reimburse the shelter here.”
The meat was donated from Bellevue Meat Processing in Haughton. It was venison…. or deer meat and the mission says it was extremely valuable to them. Rev. Henry Martin is the Executive Director of the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission. He said, “You can use in chilis, you can use in beef tips and rice, you can use in hamburgers. We didn’t find anything wrong with it. It was processed correctly, it was packaged correctly.” But on January 28th a Health Department Inspector came and said the meat couldn’t be eaten at the Rescue Mission because it was donated by a hunter.they threw it in the dumpster and poured clorox on it. Not only are we losing out and its costing us money, the people that are hungry aren’t going to get as quality of food, the hunter that’s given his meat in good faith is losing out. The meat processing plant, particularly this one, Bellevue, is losing a lot of money to process this meat and have it thrown into the trash can.”
The rescue mission does not receive any city, state or federal funds. They operate solely on the donations of from the public. And officials there say… this situation has hurt everyone involved, especially those who are less fortunate in our area. State officials say they received a complaint regarding the meat and upon their investigation, they found meat that was donated by a hunter. Donated meat from a hunter does not meet state regulations for distribution to the public and the state says that is why the meat was destroyed.