Country Food Trust choose venison to feed children in need

The Country Food Trust has been making great use of venison to feed the hungry!

The Country Food Trust has been making great use of venison to feed the hungry! - Credit: Archant

The Country Food Trust charity has developed a kid-friendly ready meal using British wild venison to help feed those most at need in these trying times

The Country Food Trust distributed over 62,000 meals using British venison this summer. They have since been exploring the increased use of venison in collaboration with The British Wild Venison Working Group and The Forestry Commission.

David Hooton of the Forestry Commission said about the scheme: “We welcome being able to support the work of The Country Food Trust and to develop wholesome meals to feed those in food poverty. The British Wild Venison Working group is working to extend the availability, promotion and the use of British Wild Venison across the country, ensuring that this versatile meat is used to its fullest potential.”

The trust asked their consultant chef, Tim Maddams, to create a ready meal that would be appealing to children (as well as adults). He felt a venison bolognese would be perfect. “I was delighted to offer my help with this project, and I am very happy with the product we have produced together, linking sustainable wild meat with children in real need of quality protein at this very difficult time.”

The move should prove beneficial for both the children and the environment alike. Alongside geese, rabbits and pigeon, deer, as incidental sources of protein, venison is a comparatively healthy meat, with approximately 25% less calories and only 50% of the fat content seen in other red meats. What’s more, wild deer management is an essential part of countryside management, supporting the protection of arable crops, ancient woodlands and associated biodiversity, as well as future woodland creation schemes.

To avoid any potential issues with feeding children, the trust made the decision to only use deer that had been shot with non-lead ammunition in all its venison products. With the help of The Forestry Commission, who already stipulate no use of lead on their land, the Country Food Trust are now working with two reputable game dealers – MC Kelley in Devon and Willo Game in Shropshire - who are able to provide a guarantee of lead-free venison.

The Country Food Trust placed its first order of 15,000 meals of venison bolognese with their manufacturer and hope to be able to deliver it to children in need throughout November.

For more about the Country Food Trust’s 2020 Winter Appeal, visit: