CLEVELAND - Mentor began culling deer using both bow hunters and SWAT teams in the first week of January.
SWAT teams have already made one complete pass through the designated sites, culling 138 deer to date. The meat from the first 115 of those animals arrived Friday at the Cleveland Foodbank.
More than 3,000 pounds of venison were donated. The city of Mentor budgeted $75 per deer to have it processed. The meat is ground then packaged in 10-pound bags and frozen when delivered. Officials at the foodbank expect it to go fast.
"It's high protein and of the 300,000 individuals in our community that need food this is a great food source so what we're excited to have it. We're excited to make it available and our agencies are excited to be able to get it on their menus to get a little bit of variety," said Tara Turner, Director of Fundraising at the Cleveland Foodbank.
Mentor will donate more meat after the SWAT teams go through the sites on a second and final pass. The meat harvested by bow hunters is on private property and belong to the hunters.