Capital New York heard that meat from geese culled from the area around JFK Airport was donated to area food banks, but wondered what that meant exactly. (The culling program began after Captain Sullenburger’s bird-struck airplane landed in the Hudson River.) Little else was known, so they decided to get to the bottom of it. Text book investigative journalism resulted in a much clearer picture and even left open the possibility of conspiracy theories in the comments section. Did the meat get donated to food banks? Yes! Is it safe to eat? Maybe! Would the food banks accept this type of donation again? In a heartbeat!
According to Carol Bannerman, a department spokeswoman, past goose roundups ended with the animals being gassed by carbon dioxide, and the bodies dumped in a landfill. The meat, obviously, went to waste.
Officials wanted to do something different this time, she said, and knew of other states, like Pennsylvania, where donations of goose meat were common. It also turned out to be the case that many food banks — warehouse-type institutions that distribute food to hundreds of pantries and soup kitchens — in New York State frequently received donations of wild game like deer from hunters.
The people who run the food banks confirmed this, although they said they don’t get wild goose-meat donations as regularly.