With more than 53 million people--1 in 6--turning to food pantries and meal programs for help in 2021, many faced the challenge of feeding both themselves and their beloved pets. PetSmart Charities, the foremost funder of animal welfare in the U.S., is collaborating with Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America to respond to the continued hunger crisis by delivering pet food right alongside food for their people. In 2022, PetSmart Charities committed $9.4 million in grant support for pet food insecurity to its partners.
In 2022, PetSmart Charities is providing $7.9 millionin donated pet food to Feeding America. More than nine million pounds of pet food have already been distributed, with more deliveries scheduled for October. In 2021, PetSmart Charities contributed $10 million in donated pet food to Feeding America when the pandemic left many families in need. The innovative partnership with the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization led to the delivery of pet food to member food banks across the nation.
Meals on Wheels America
Since 2019, critical support from PetSmart Charities has helped local Meals on Wheels America member organizations to deliver pet food alongside human meals, supporting the companion pets of older adults. During the three-year partnership with Meals on Wheels America, nearly 24,000 clients and 39,000 pets have been served with support to improve access to veterinary care, alleviate pet food insecurity, and identify service gaps and best practices through research.
PetSmart Charities believes people across all socio-economic statuses experience the benefits of caring for pets. Those who have already struggled in the wake of the pandemic are now faced with a 10% increase in food costs due to inflation. The organization says food insecurity can affect anyone and providing pet parents in need with resources keeps more pets in loving homes and out of already crowded shelters.
"Meaningful partnerships with organizations like Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America fuel our mission to make life better for pets and their families," said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. "We know pet parents would do anything for their pets—including feeding their pets before themselves. Seniors especially are making these impossible choices, and these unique partnerships make life better for both ends of the leash."
To support these initiatives, people can donate to PetSmart Charities as they check out at the register in PetSmart stores, or, online at petsmartcharities.org. For more information on how PetSmart Charities is working to keep families together and build healthier communities, visit petsmartcharities.org.