Whether you have plans or not, a visit to the Market Pizza at Stockton Market between August 18 and 20 will not only satisfy your hunger, but will help those who are hungry as well. Market Pizza, a gourmet artisan pizza shop located within the Stockton Market (in Stockton, NJ), is partnering with Hunters Helping the Hungry, an organization of hunters that donates venison to food pantries.
For the second time this year, Market Pizza spotlights Hunters Helping the Hungry, donating the proceeds from the weekend to the organization. Market Pizza owner, Megan Jones-Holt, whose weekly chef creations spread like social media wildfire, will include a venison sweet sausage pizza (pictured above) as her Chef’s Special for the weekend.
The pizza features venison donated by the organization specifically for the benefit, as well as local sweet and spicy peppers from Two Barn Farm in Pittstown, as well as a New Jersey tomato sauce (amped up a bit with ghost pepper). But don’t worry, this white pizza will only feature dollops of the hot sauce and Jones-Holt makes a promise: “It won’t kill you!”
Already well known for featuring local produce from a number of farms, it’s not shocking that Market Pizza is also taking a chance to spotlight local meats and nonprofit organizations. Jones-Holt, who bought Market Pizza almost a year ago, became aware of the organization through her Rotary Club.
“I knew these guys from the beginning and when I bought Market Pizza I thought why not have a fundraiser,” said Jones-Holt. “Now it’s my birthday celebration and I figured what better way to have a party then to host a benefit for these guys!” (Her birthday is August 20—so wish her a happy birthday!)
Hunters Helping the Hungry
The Hunters Helping the Hungry program came about by way of three hunters during the 1997-98 hunting season, in response to the overpopulation of deer as well as the need for protein in local food banks. Hunters throughout the state participate by donating deer through a State of NJ Health Department-approved butcher. Processing fees go to the butcher by Hunters Helping the Hungry, as well as to hunters who donate $10 to $65 of the professional meat processing fee.
During that first hunting season, ten deer (or approximately 500 pounds of venison) were donated. Since then, over 234,000 pounds of venison have been donated by hunters, which equals approximately 936,000 servings to those in need. Over 400 feeding charities throughout New Jersey and America’s Second Harvest Food Banks have benefitted from these efforts. Known for being low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein, venison is a valuable food product.
“The first event was before Wild Game Week in January and February 2017,” said Jones-Holt. “I featured a ground beef venison red based pie with jalapeno peppers, red raw onion, and fresh basil. It was a success, but I definitely want to donate more to them!”
The event will feature Market Pizza’s current menu as well as the venison sausage pizza that can be paired with wine and beer from Stockton Fine Wine & Spirits right next door—a partnership that’s been going on for almost a year—as well as live music Friday (fingers crossed!) and Sunday night.
To get your hands on some venison pizza during the “Chef’s Birthday Party Weekend,” be sure to visit Market Pizza on Friday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(Located within Stockton Market)
19 Bridge Street