When people fall on tough times, everyone who relies on them suffers too. This is especially true for pets. Financial hardship often results in losing pets to overcrowded shelters or worse, total abandonment. Thankfully, new “pet food banks” or “pet pantries”are popping up all over the country with the primary goal of helping struggling families keep their pets during these difficult times thereby reducing the number of pets entering the shelter system.

Local animal rescue groups and groups of animal advocates operate the pet food banks and gather food using various means. They raise money for discounted purchases of torn food bags from local retailers, set up food collection bins and seek other food donations. These small community groups and shelters strive to stock and serve the furry and feathered friends nobody should have to live without.

But collecting, donating and distributing pet food is a costly enterprise. Fortunately, animal-welfare non-profit groups and corporations have donated services and pet food to support the good work at regional pet food banks. In fact, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah arranged for the delivery of 18,000 pounds of donated Del Monte pet food to Atlanta-based Save our Pets and Daffy’s Pet Soup Kitchen pet food programs. As part of Best Friends’ First Home Forever Home campaign, this substantial contribution helps communities work towards the goal of “No More Homeless Pets.”

But helping pets is across the country requires a larger effort. “Atlanta is just the first city First Home plans to aid – the long-term goal,” Ellen Gillmore, Best Friends Animal Society campaign coordinator says, “is to create networks in all major U.S. cities, placing the responsibility in community member’s hands. We want to see if we could do a community-based drive, because we know we can’t tackle this issue alone.”

In fact, Daffy’s Pet Soup Kitchen is ready to aid in the cause by helping individuals start their own chapters of Daffy’s across the country. With folks from 28 states expressing interest in starting their own chapters, Tom Wargo, Daffy’s director, is more than willing to help by providing the nonprofit organization’s name and license, and help in any other way possible.

Lend a paw to these important programs by volunteering, donating or starting a pet food bank in your community, check out the links below for details. 


The Scoop: 

Visit BestFriends.org for more information about their First Home Forever Home campaign and pet food banks.

National listings of pet food banks across the country for those with pets in need and for volunteer opportunities.

Learn more about starting a pet food bank in your community.


Thank you to Best Friends Animal Society for the photo.