Getting Food Where It's Needed

by Lee Chambers

Recognizing the effect that COVID-19 is having on the community’s ability to purchase dog and cat food for their beloved pets, Dakin held a 2-day pet food drive-up event on August 30-31 that was coordinated through our Pet Food Aid Program (PFAP).

Attendees pulled up curbside while Dakin volunteers and staff members provided them with enough food to last a month for each pet.  Over the course of both days 16,614 pounds of pet food was given to people in our community.  Click the gallery below to see photos taken by Volunteer Photographer Dot Barnard.

Several of our attendees offered their thoughts about the event.  “This is the most wonderful thing.  My pets are my entire world, and I’m very grateful,” said Joe.  According to Elizabeth, “I’m thankful for this because I’m out of work.  My pets are my solace and comfort.  They will be so happy to have this food.”  Sue stated, “I think this is great because my pets are my babies.  My husband got laid off in February, and this helps out very much.  The economy is tough.”

We were very touched to see people come forward with donations for this giveaway effort.  We collected over $200, plus 85 pounds of dog food and 27 pounds of cat food from the public.  We thank you so much!

In a typical year, our PFAP provides between 25,000-30,000 pounds of pet food to our community.  This year, so far, we have distributed more than 73,000 pounds to those in need, which yields more than 500,000 pet meals.  We have received grants from several organizations to help support our program, and we’d like to recognize them here:

  • Best Friends Animal Society – The Rachael Ray Save Them All COVID-19 Relief Grant
  • Humane Society of the United States – COVID-19 Relief Fund
  • The Springfield Rotary
  • The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
  • Animal Welfare Institute
  • GreaterGood.org

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