4,500 -- That's the number of pounds of venison received by the Island Harvest food bank from the ongoing deer cull on the East End.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts the hunt and processes the meat, which Island Harvest distributes among 20 local agencies.

The hunt is a sad necessity to help control an exploding deer population, though controversy rages as to its effectiveness. But there is no question the meat has been a welcome addition to the effort to feed Long Island's hungry.