With the days counting down toward the end of deer season in this part of Texas, officials with the Deer Project of Good Samaritation Ministries are reminding hunters that they can help them “hit the target” of 25,000 pounds of vension to help feed hungry Brown County families.

The interdenomination food bank at Good Samaritan served a record number of people for a December, approaching 1,200 before the facility at 308 Clark Street closed Wednesday for the holidays, Executive Director Angelia Bostick said. So the need is obvious.

The general deer season in Brown County will end Jan. 4, and a special late season for antlerless and spike deer only will continue until Jan. 17, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Web site.

In 2008, the Deer Project brought in 5,229 pounds of meet to the Good Samaritan freezers and ultimately to local families. That accounted for almost 21,000 meals. Typically, one deer can be turned into 100 meals.

The project also received 1,000 pounds of pork from the Brown County Fair Association and 25 turkeys from the Wild Turkey Hunters Federation.

Non-hunters can also help by donating cash to pay for the deer donated to be processed through participating firms. Hunters can donate the $35 fee when they leave the animals, but the donations will offset that for hunters unable to make that cash gift themselves.

Donations of deer may be made through M&M Deer Processing on County Road 278 in Zephyr, Perk’s Deer Processing on FM 2126 in Brownwood, B&R Custom Processing at 811 Early Blvd., and Ted’s Deer Processing on U.S. Highway 183 North in Owens.

Deer should not be taken directly to Good Samaritan Ministries due to public health conditions.

The Deer Project was organized in 2008 after concerned businessmen and hunters saw the opportunity to partner with Good Samaritan’s food bank to provide protein to needy families. Coordination was arranged the deer processors, hunters, local hunting organization, high-fence ranchers and supporters of Good Samaritan to develop the project. It included the installation of a large walk-in freezer at the Clark Street warehouse.