INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's conservation officers are urging the state's deer hunters to donate some of the venison they take in the upcoming hunting season to programs that help feed low-income families.

The Department of Natural Resources says the Sportsmen's Benevolent Fund program provided nearly 270,000 high-protein venison meals to hungry families during the 2013-2014 deer season.

Those meals came from the more than 67,000 pounds of venison deer hunters donated to the program that's administered by the DNR Law Enforcement Division.

The Sportsmen's Benevolent Fund received public funding during the 2013 legislative session.

Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard and Dubois County Sportsmen's Club have developed a network of butcher shops across Indiana that distributes the venison.

All venison is ground into burger and provided in 2-pound packages.