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Elementary student hunts to end hunger

The fear of going hungry is a harsh reality that some students live with on a regular basis, and not knowing where your next meal is coming from can put stress on any student. To help combat this, one Francis Howell School District student decided he wanted to do something to contribute.

“My mom said, ‘There are kids in your school that go hungry and people eat from a backpack,’” Daniel Boone Elementary student David Neier said. “That got me thinking and it really upset me.”

David comes from a family of avid hunters, and he aspires to be a conservationist when he grows up. David promised to donate his first deer of the season to local food pantries and convinced his grandfather to follow suit. After urging others in the community to do the same, “Hunt for Hunger” was born.

“I started Hunt for Hunger for the local community,” said David. “You can donate a deer to Dan’s Country Meat, and that will go to all the local food pantries in this area.”

With cooperation from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Share the Harvest and Operation Food Search of St. Charles, David has coordinated several options for donated, field-dressed deer to be processed at no cost to the hunter. The Josephville Meat Market also has agreed to process donations at no cost.

“David approached me two years ago about distributing a flyer at our school for Hunt for Hunger. I could tell immediately how passionate he was about seeing the great need in his community and how he could feed so many people,” Daniel Boone Principal Kevin Armour said. “He is a very hard-working student with outstanding character, and he is very concerned about others and how he can help them.”

At a recent assembly at his school, David was honored by State Rep. Bryan Spencer and St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann with a letter of recognition.

David Neier with his letter of recognition for his Hunt for Hunger program.

Ehlmann wrote, “For someone your age who is an avid hunter, to devise the plan to donate your deer to help prevent hunger and then go door-to-door to spread awareness and seek assistance from others to do the same, is remarkable.”

David also was recognized by State Rep. Bryan Spencer for his services and was congratulated for being an outstanding citizen and distinguished leader to his peers.

In 2017, with support from the community, David collected 1,500 pounds of venison to be distributed to families. In 2018, his goal was 2,000 pounds.

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