The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last week unanimously voted to appropriate $50,000 to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry to help offset processing costs for the non-profit organization.
The money comes from the state's General Improvement Fund.
AHFH works with 50 game processors across the state to provide meat to more than 100 feeding agencies in Arkansas.
In 2009-10, about 68,000 pounds of venison were donated, a 62 percent increase from the 2008-09 season.
Commissioner George Dunklin praised the program and its efforts to help the AGFC balance Arkansas's deer herd while offering nutritious food to families in need.
"It's a wonderful, wonderful program that allows deer to be processed and be fed to people who need the food."
In a separate action, the Commission also voted to grant an additional $26,000 to AHFH to pay for maintenance and repair of the program's refrigerated delivery truck and to reimburse the program's coordinator, Ronnie Ritter, for his time and efforts in coordinating hunters, processors and feeding agencies to make the program a success.
In a 5-2 vote, the Commission also approved a $40,000 budget increase to the Communications Division for media training and consultation.
The Commission voted in its October meeting to develop a comprehensive communications plan with expert assistance from a media/public relations consultant.