Nonprofit Meets Needs with Pet Food Stamps

Print Share on LinkedIn More

Pet food

March 5, 2013; Source: Indian Country Today Media Network

When the economy is bad for people, it’s often equally bad for their pets. In recent years, we’ve seen many news stories about pets being abandoned when people had to downsize or when they lost their homes to foreclosure. Animal shelters have also reported seeing a rise in sick animals whose owners can’t afford to care for them.

A new nonprofit in New York State has now opened a program offering pet food stamps to struggling pet owners. How great is the demand? In just one two-week period last month, 45,000 pet owners applied for pet food assistance, according to Pet Food Stamps founder Marc Okon. Okon says the program is “aimed at preventing people from having to choose [between] feeding themselves or their animals or having to surrender them to a high-kill shelter.”

The program delivers pet food and other pet supplies monthly to those who qualify. There is no cost for the food deliveries to pet owners. Owners must either be receiving food stamps themselves or fall below the federal poverty line. Pet food is one of the items that cannot be purchased with food stamps, and it’s estimated that 15 percent of all Americans are on food stamps.

So far, the nonprofit is clearly showing that it has filled a void. Pet Food Stamps reportedly gets about 3,000 requests every day from people across the country. The program is open to any qualifying United States citizen, and the assistance can last for up to six months. –Mary Jo Draper

  • i.klein

    It’s good to learn that there are programs to assist many families provide food for their beloved pets. It is too bad that there is not a communty service component attached to the food provided. So many animal recues and shelters are in need of volunteers as well as in-kind services (cleaning, social media, reception, dog walking, animal bathing, etc.), especially while our economy is still in its recovery stage. Additionally, many families with well trained pets that have been properly socailized could provide a very rewarding service to many elderly and at0risk children — by participating in weekly/bi-weekly visits.

    If we are to truly effect positive, long-lasting change, we need to consider programs in which there is true 360′ participation by all involved. Doing so enhances the mission and integrit of programs as well as bolster the value of community involvement and empower individuals and families that through active participation, collectively we can and do make a difference.

    Furthermore, increased in-kind services help change the financial profile of an organization, better leveraging of assets and resources.

  • Mark Mitchell

    It’s good to see that this is done through donations from other companies and not through the government. I hope that those really in need of pet food are the ones who benefit and people don’t try to game the system. I agree with you I.KLEIN that more should be done to truly effect positive, long-lasting change.

  • Samuel Marshall

    I am a 45 year old disabled black male and recently heard about your program for assistance with people who are pet owners living at or below the poverty line and …yes that’s me, I’m currently receiving Social Security disibilty & food stamps, I live in Valdosta Georgia, 2413 Knox drive, My name is Samuel L. Marshall and I know don’t how else to apply for your benefits other than write directly on your comment page. I have two dogs, who are the loves of my life and yes it’s a struggle just to feed them, but some how I manage. My S.S. # is 254-17-6678 and if there is anyway you can help me I would greatly be forever indebted to your organization, Thanks and May Our Lord and Savior continues to Bless this great organization.

  • nancy rivera

    ihi there i hope u could help me i have a few pets having a hard time feeding my gang i even have a few birda i have 5 dogs n 8 birds

  • Dagny Mcburnett

    I have two cats that r just awesome but i am a single mother of 5 and money is tight right now so just hope ing to find some help with my kiddies thank you

  • Barbara Back

    hi I think it’s great what y’all are doing I have 6 rescue dogs that are now my forever pets although I’m struggling right Now I am on food stamps and ssi but that’s not enough my babies go through 150 lbs a month… If you can please help me that will be awesome and if there anyway I can help your organization please feel free to tell me …thanks Barbara from Alabama