BY KAREN CAMPBELL
Weakley County Schools Communications Director
DRESDEN (May 4) – Matt Simcox, manager of Hunters for the Hungry, a program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, recently traveled from his headquarters in Nashville to recognize the Dresden High School FFA as the Region 1 champion in the annual Hunger Challenge.
The Dresden students, supervised by teacher Jonathan Holden, volunteered 1,100 hours; raised $500 in donations; and secured 13 deer for processing to claim the regional recognition. The deer were processed at Birdwell Deer Processing in Greenfield, and the meat was shared with local hunger ministries.
Simcox praised the group for their continued commitment to the community and for regularly achieving recognition status for the high number of points raised. He also underscored the human impact of the program and the number of meals this program and Hunters for the Hungry overall provide to Tennesseans.
The Hunger Challenge is in its eighth year. DHS has participated for three years. In 2022, they were runners up to the state champion. Spencer Davis was the DHS student with the highest number of donated deer.
The Hunger Challenge is a point-based competition for high school clubs that supports Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program. Hunger Challenge clubs compete to raise funds, secure venison donations, and volunteer to help feed local hungry families.
Simcox pointed out that in addition to the Dresden FFA Hunger Challenge donations, Hunters for the Hungry also gave 80 deer after the December tornado.
Holden says he starts the year instructing the students on the various aspects of the challenge, but especially values Simcox speaking directly to students regarding the difference their efforts make in the lives of hungry Tennesseans.