Good eats? Hunters donate 250 pounds of elk, deer, sheep, bear and wild pig to Union Rescue Mission
On Monday night's dinner menu at the Union Rescue Mission: tacos made from elk, deer, sheep, wild pig, black bear and antelope.
For pescatarians, there were yellow tail, tilapia and tuna tacos. Vegetarians were out of luck.
About 250 pounds of fresh game meat was donated for the feast, sponsored by the Sportsman Channel as a part of its national "Hunt. Fish. Feed." initiative.
Most diners were unfazed by the rustic fare. Many skid row residents who eat at shelters are used to diets that vary depending on what has been donated that week — from day-old doughnuts to Dodger dogs.
"All right, give me some of the wild stuff," Tommy Harris said when he learned his ground-meat taco was partly made of bear. "I want to go to the wild side."
Harris was sitting with some friends in the noisy cafeteria at the Union Rescue Mission, where he lives and works. Volunteers plopped plates of food in front of them, and the men closed their eyes to pray.
Ralph Johnson, 48, picked up a dripping taco and took a bite.
"It tastes . . . just like tacos," he said.
"Well, what'd you expect?" Harris asked him, laughing. "A big piece of bear claw or something?"
-- Kate Linthicum on skid row
Photo: Germaine David takes a bite of a taco at the Union Rescue Mission on skid row. He is among hundreds who dined there Monday, eating bear, wild pig, venison and sheep meat donated by a huntgin group. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times / May 10, 2010)