American Prairie Reserve donates bison to food banks


Donation equals 12,000 servings of protein

A large-scale bison preserve in Montana has donated more than 4,000 pounds of bison meat to Montana Food Bank Network.

The donation from American Prairie Reserve is equivalent to more than 12,000 servings, and will help families fight hunger across Montana, according to the Montana Food Bank Network.

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With food supply chains shutting down across the country because of coronavirus, meat prices have begun to climb at local grocery stores, if it is even available on the shelves, the food bank said.

“We believe every person has a basic human right to access nutritious, high-quality food,” Gayle Carlson, Chief Executive Officer of Montana Food Bank Network, said. “Fresh healthy protein, such as the meat being donated by American Prairie Reserve, couldn’t come at a better time for Montanans.”

The donation will be quickly distributed through Montana Food Bank Network’s 145 partner food pantries, making it accessible to Montanans across the state.  It is expected the bison meat will be available in local pantries in May. 

The donation comes at an important time. Business closures and layoffs have resulted in higher numbers of first-time visitors to food pantries. In addition, current pantry clients are seeking more resources than usual.

“As a Montana organization, it’s important to us that we help fellow Montanans in need,”  Alison Fox, CEO of American Prairie Reserve, said. “The disruption in our food supply created by the pandemic is dramatic. No one should have to go hungry right now or be worried about where their next meal is coming from. This donation of bison meat is just one way we can hopefully help to alleviate some of those concerns.”

“American Prairie Reserve is working to grow our conservation bison herd, but we routinely use harvesting as a responsible management tool,” said Fox. “This felt like a natural way to help those across the state who could use the meat, while also helping us with the health and sustainability of our bison population.”

Montana Food Bank Network is working to meet the increased demand for food assistance throughout the state. In the past month, Montana Food Bank Network has tripled the amount of food distributed to network partners. Donations, like the meat from American Prairie Reserve and many other Montana organizations and foundations, help increase the impact and efficiency of all food acquired and distributed through the Network.

For information about the Montana Food Bank Network, see

About American Prairie Reserve

American Prairie Reserve’s vision is to create a vast and collaboratively-managed prairie destination that serves as a fully functioning ecosystem for wildlife, and offers visitors permanent access to the landscape that shaped our nation’s character. When complete, the Reserve will be larger than Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks combined, and will support wildlife species that historically called the Great Plains home. Already open to the public for recreation including camping and hunting, the Reserve offers visitors an opportunity to connect with nature on a truly grand scale. Learn more at


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