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BELTON

Local group distributes feral hog meat to needy families

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BELTON - A faith based group in Belton is transforming a statewide pest into what's for dinner.

Hogs for a Cause is a faith based service in Belton that's been distributing feral hog meat for years. Dave Haehn began it after going feral hog hunting himself with some wounded warriors. Now his group has grown to bringing in hogs from all over Central Texas and then distributing the meat wherever he can. He says they've already brought in nearly 25,000 pounds in 2014.

Many of these hogs are gathered during a helicopter hunt. Haehn and a few volunteers would follow the helicopters and pick up as many hogs as they can that are killed.

"For the most part a lot of those animals are left to lay in the field to rot and God put it upon my heart that we could use that as a resource to minister to people," Haehn said.

Haehn says they've gone to several different hunts in Texas including ones in Coryell and Milam Counties. He says unfortunately they can't pick up every animal that's killed. Most of the time they can only get to around 10% of the hogs because some can be hard to get to and sometimes they don't have the proper equipment.

The group does have a freezer trailer they bring to hunts so they can transfer meat safely from the woods to be butchered. Haehn says he's very conscious of quality control and doesn't use all the meat that comes in. Once the meat is butchered though, Haehn says it's pretty easy to get the meat to where it will be eaten.

"Community leaders, police chiefs or whatever tell us whether there are struggling families and we'll just go over there and give them 15-20 pounds of sausage," Haehn said.

Haehn is now working with this organization full time after retiring from his contracting job in December. He says he wants to expand Hogs for a Cause to have 12 satellites all around the state and bring in a million pounds each year.

Hogs for a Cause has scheduled a BBQ for the “Wounded Warriors and Warriors in Transition BDE” from Ft Hood, TX. This will be at Belton Lake Recreational Area (BLORA) on Friday, April 24 at 3 p.m.
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