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Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry


Do you think more kids are shooting archery or playing little league? The answer may surprise you.


More Kids Shooting Archery Than Playing Baseball? I’ve heard this stat


before from National Archery in the Schools (NASP) staff, but I had to ask again at the NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky this past May. I asked NASP officials how many kids shoot annually in NASP programs. The answer? Nearly 2.5 million from elementary through high school. That is indeed more than America’s favorite pastime, baseball, where it’s reported that around 2.3 million kids are playing Little League. I think we all agree, whether it’s shooting archery or playing baseball, getting kids outdoors and active is a good thing. But for those of us in the hunting, outdoors, and shooting sports realm, that statistic for archery and young people has to be encouraging on a number of levels.


Combined with the fast growth of NASP beginning in 2002, there have also been influences from the entertainment industry that have encouraged shooting archery such as the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy years back, to the more recent TV show featuring DC Comics hero Green Arrow. Needless to say, at a time when “screen” seems to dominating our kids usage of time, it is exciting to see that shooting archery is on the rise. Beyond the rise in just youth interest in archery, the Archery Trade Association (ATA) shares that archery participation in the U.S. has nearly tripled from about 7 million to 19 million archers in just over a decade.


What does all this have to do with FHFH and feeding people? Well, it’s no secret you need people spending time outdoors and hunting if you are going to receive donated deer. And it seems we are building into a whole new generation the enjoyment of shooting archery – which begs the question for them – what happens after high school? Do I keep shooting? How else can shooting archery serve as recreation and even provide food for my family or others? NASP is taking steps with others in the outdoors industry to help give kids that opportunity – the option to transition their archery experience into bow hunting. It’s an important step to helping archery become a practical and lifelong part of a person’s experience. Ultimately, if a young person begins to bow hunt, they may also seek to widen their hunting experience with firearms as well.


A final step here involves linking the pastime of kids shooting archery with the opportunity to help feed people through bowhunting. Studies have shown that the opportunity to donate meat to the needy increases the odds that a person will give hunting a try. Whether it’s hunting to feed the hungry—or some other activity entirely—the ability to help someone in need is a transforming experience. It gets to the heart of what Jesus has asked of us in Matthew 25:35-40. Once we know Jesus as our Savior our lives are to be an offering of worship and service back to Him and those that desperately need help. Communicating this message to young people is one thing, but giving them opportunities to live it out is where real change in their hearts and lives can begin. Let’s help a young person see that their time spent outdoors hunting is an opportunity to give back to the God of creation. It may be the difference in their commitment and enjoyment of hunting and helping to feed people, but even more importantly a game changer for their faith and love for God.


Learn more about NASP at www.naspschools.org!


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