Thank you to Shelley Idhalm for this great article covering our pet food bank in Loveland. Link to full article at the end of the post.
The fourth Saturday of the month, the Food Bank for Larimer County places importance on cats and dogs.
Colorado Pet Pantry sets up a tent for two hours outside the Loveland Food Share building, 2600 N. Lincoln Ave., to hand out pet food and supplies to clients of the food bank and others needing the help.
“Our goals are definitely aligned… Whether you’re talking about food for families or food for pets, we want to make it easier for families to manage day to day,” said Paul Donnelly, communications director for the Food Bank for Larimer County, which has food pantries in Loveland and Fort Collins. “We don’t want people making a choice between getting food or medicine.”
In February, the Food Bank for Larimer County partnered with Colorado Pet Pantry, and since then, the pet pantry has served an average of 85 to 95 families per month. As of June, 360 families signed up for services for 875 pets, including 499 dogs and 376 cats.
“Everybody has leftover food from their animals for whatever reason. We want to stop that food from going into the landfills,” said Eileen Lambert, Executive Director of the Colorado Pet Pantry.
Our first pet food bank was six years ago on June 6, 2013! So much has changed, but our goals remain the same. In 2018, Colorado Pet Pantry volunteers helped families-in-need feed 2.3 million meals (376,651 lbs) to 38,997 pets in the Denver/Boulder-metro area, Colorado Springs, Conifer, Ordway, and other parts of the state.
Just recently we added pet food banks at La Puentes Food Bank in Alamosa, Aurora Interfaith Community Services Food Bank in Aurora, Sangre De Cristos Volunteers for Community in Colorado City, The Action Center in Lakewood, and Lynn Gardens Baptist Church Food Bank in Pueblo. We are working hard to service all those-in-need throughout the State of Colorado, but we need your help.
Learn how you can help. As of right now, we need help at ALL of our pet food banks. For a calendar view of our upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit the calendar on our website. If you would like to volunteer at a food bank or warehouse workday, visit sign up, select the type of volunteer activity you would like, then select the date you would like to volunteer.
While our mission is to help pets, our larger goal is to help the family not have to make a choice about who to feed. Access to pet food means there’s more human food for the humans. Did you know you cannot buy pet food with food stamps? Without enough money and food, these are the choices our friends have to make every day.
Dignity. Why are we “open to the public”? This article nails it:“The volunteers at the food bank were silver-haired and kind. On my first visit, I was fresh from my receptionist job, sharply dressed in a skirt suit handed down from my mother. I was worried I wouldn’t look needy enough, so I’d tucked my pay stubs into my purse just in case. It wasn’t necessary. I told the volunteers I needed help and they believed me. I didn’t need to prove I was hungry. It was a time in my life when I rarely received respect from anyone, but I received it from them. Dignity was the first gift they gave me.”
Choice. Food banks can’t provide enough to feed everyone. The article quotes the executive director of a human food bank “Says Habenicht, ‘I wish the public better understood that most folks who visit the food bank are working families who simply can’t make ends meet with the rising cost of living … Not only do families have to choose between paying bills or buying food, they often have to decide who, in the family, gets to eat. These are impossible choices that no family should have to make.’” Please read this article to learn more about why the “easy road” isn’t so easy. But we do our best to make it as good as it can be.