A Season of Suppers – Let’s help Meals on Wheels feed pets too!

Those who know me know that I’m a big believer in a better quality of life through the power of pet love, for the elderly and persons with disabilities. I’d like to ask you to consider giving to a wonderful program this holiday season, “A Season of Suppers,” which will provide pet food along with hot meals via the Meals on Wheels program.

A program like this has been on my Wish List for a long time. Wishes do sometimes come true. :)

More from Associated Press:

Nov 23 2006

FORT WORTH, Texas – When 87-year-old Lucille Mann knits, her 2 1/2-pound dog Pepper curls up beside her or nuzzles in her lap.

“I just don’t know what I’d do without her because she’s my life,” she said.

Realizing the two are inseparable, Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County not only delivers daily meals to Mann, but also drops off some pet food for her treasured Chihuahua.

About a fourth of the Fort Worth chapter’s 400 clients receive free pet food in addition to daily meals. The chapter started providing cat and dog food five years ago after volunteers noticed a growing number of clients feeding pets from their own plates.

This holiday season, the Meals On Wheels Association of America and Banfield, The Pet Hospital are teaming up to help needy seniors nationwide feed their pets.

They hope to collect 1 million pounds of critter vittles at 575 Banfield veterinary hospitals across the country during a two-month pet food drive called “A Season of Suppers.” Since the cause started earlier this month, donation boxes have been filling up quickly, so volunteers are already making deliveries.

“The holiday time is when there is a more acute awareness of people in need, especially seniors who may not have other relatives and are really more isolated than the general population,” said Sandy Campbell, president of Banfield Charitable Trust, the veterinary practice’s nonprofit organization.

Portland, Ore.-based Banfield and Meals On Wheels also are accepting monetary donations in hopes of raising $100,000 for the meal-delivery agency’s “We All Love Our Pets” program. The pet food program already helps seniors in Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif. and the agency would like to expand into other communities.

“It’s truly awesome they’re doing this,” said Janine Brown, program manager of senior nutrition services at the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. “Not only do seniors not have to share their food, which isn’t healthy for pets, but they can keep the limited amount of income for their medicine and electric bills.”

Elizabeth Escontrias and her brother, Manuel Valle, who live in Fort Worth, said their lives are enriched by their several cats and five small dogs, including a feisty 11-year-old Chihuahua named Bad Girl whose tongue always hangs out.

But feeding them is difficult on a fixed income, they said.

“I’d have to give them away if they (Meals On Wheels) didn’t help me,” said Escontrias, 68. “Our animals are just like family. They’re our little children.”

Meals On Wheels provides food for homebound people age 60 and older. Many are low-income, although there is no minimum income requirement.

Though the priority is providing meals to seniors — four in 10 Meals on Wheels chapters nationwide have waiting lists — the agency says the pet food program improves the quality of life for its clients.

“For most of our clients, their pet is probably the most important thing in their lives. It’s their family and the only friendly face they see,” said Enid A. Borden, CEO of Meals On Wheels Association of America. “That’s why this program is so important.”


On the Net:

Meals On Wheels Association of America: http://www.mowaa.org

Banfield, The Pet Hospital: http://www.banfield.net

Comments (6)

Mary CothranFebruary 20th, 2008 at 1:13 am

I live in West Palm Beach, FL – am trying to get some help with getting some dog food for my 2 dogs Buddah and Coco. And I need dry cat food and litter for my cat Emily. If you can send me any phone numbers or addresses I will appreciate – am going through a bad patch financially and medically. Thanks so much, Mary

JuliFebruary 20th, 2008 at 9:50 am

Here are some links to try and find assistance. Good luck!!!!!!

Assistance programs for those with pets & low cost spay/neuter clinics United Animal Nations

Lifeline grants for low income pet owners & rescue situations

Amy yanickMarch 13th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

My mom and dad are in their 60′s, and have a few animals, they are living on my dad’s retirement, and realy having a hard time feeding their animals.THey have 2 young cats, and an 18 yr old cat, and 2 dogs, 10 and 12 years old.THey live near Confluence Pa, Do you know where I could find help for them in Uniontown,pa or somewhere near them?

JuliMarch 14th, 2008 at 12:43 am

Amy, check the links above your comment. They have assistance programs.

francisDecember 16th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

hi iam need some help iam on low in come an went threw cancer in 2003 an on low in come i take in pets an have dogs an cats i need help with food for them doimg winter months an need to get some shots an fix the ones i just took in i own a big vet bill an need help on my bills for my pets an dog pens if any one can help me please get a hold og me my name is francis god bless call are send me a e-maim 573 674 4599

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