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Abundant deer population helps feed homeless

Tuesday - 3/26/2013, 3:50pm  ET

Andrew Mollenbeck,

SPRINGFIELD, Va. - On the roads, deer can be a hazard. In parks, they threaten some native plants. But in kitchens for the hungry, they provide a valuable food source.

The process of getting lean protein to people in need requires volunteers across the region.

It begins in a forest in Fairfax County. It ends with venison on plates in the District, The Washington Post reports.

Butcher Michael Preast plays the key roll in the middle.

He has volunteered the services of Springfield Butcher, the shop he owns, for more than a decade.

"It's good to be involved in something that was giving back to the community, even though it might not be my community directly," Preast says. "In the scheme of things, we're helping."

The butcher shop takes the deer from carcass form and breaks them down to chops, roast and burgers.

"Typically during the [deer] season, there will be times where it's 1,000, 1,500 pounds a week," he says. "There's barely a week go by that we haven't done something for them."

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