Monday morning, officials with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank announced that they have received several shipments of dry dog and cat food as a donation from PetSmart Charities.
As a result of the donations, the food bank is set to distribute pet food at several locations during the month of July.
“Across the Borderland pet owners are very grateful to know that the food bank and other mobile pantry sites are distributing pet food along with food for their families. Having pet food for their pets is an added bonus to our clients who come to get food assistance,” said Kathy Cox, Chief Development Officer at El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank.
“It helps keep people and pets together and so many are benefitting from this program, especially during these hard times, that for so many have gotten difficult to manage.”
Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8) may experience food insecurity in 2021. Across the Borderland the numbers are 1 in 7. Although this is a slight improvement from the 2020 many Americans are still struggling with basic needs, including putting food on the table or in their pets’ bowl.
While reports of food insecurity have made national headlines, pet food insecurity still looms beneath the surface, despite the fact that 60% of households are pet owners.
“Pets provide a sense of comfort and well-being for families, especially during challenging times. Having access to pet food helps ensure that people don’t have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pets. It also ensures that pets are able to remain happy and healthy with their families, during the times that they need them most,” officials shared.
Earlier this year, PetSmart Charities made a $10 million to Feeding America to support pets and their families through 2021.
Food bank officials say this donation will enable Feeding America partners like El Pasoans Fighting Hunger to offer pet food to families affected by job loss and financial hardship, in addition to traditional pantry staples.
“Food insecurity is at an all-time high for families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and historically we’ve seen many stories about pet parents in need who sacrifice to feed their pets before they feed themselves,” said Aimee Gilbreath, President at PetSmart Charities.
“We are proud to make this commitment to provide much-needed pet food to families across the U.S., ultimately helping keep pets and people together during this challenging time.”
Pet food will be distributed on the following dates:
Wednesday, July 7 St. Luke’s Catholic Church 930 E. Redd Rd. starting at 8:30 am
Thursday, July 8 EPFH 9541 Plaza Circle starting at 8:00 am
Tuesday, July 20 Kelly Center for Hunger Relief 915 Florence St. starting at 9:00 am