Dog Feeding

Meals on Wheels pet pantry helps preserve seniors’ pets fed

Shirley Robinson

Pets can do wonders for a senior’s high quality of life. Many seniors depend on the relationships they kind with their furry associates to keep away from loneliness and to really feel a way of goal. However when there’s not sufficient meals to go round, some seniors could determine to sacrifice a few of their very own provisions to maintain their pets fed and wholesome. 

Shirley Robinson, who’s 74, stated she as soon as anxious about how she would discover meals for her two pet canine, Fortunate and Max. However now, as a consumer of Meals On Wheels Atlanta’s Pet Pantry program, she will get meals for them delivered when the company’s volunteers ship meals for her. “That’s so great,” she stated. “That’s lovely.” 

MOWA has been serving seniors fighting starvation since 1965. Because the company grew from its humble beginnings as a soup kitchen to a fancy program that serves greater than 600,000 meals to metro Atlanta seniors’ annually, workers members realized that seniors offering meals for his or her pets created an issue the company wanted to assist handle. In 2010, MOWA began offering pet meals and pet care objects to shoppers who want them by way of its Pet Pantry.

“There was a senior who referred to as and was close to tears as she expressed her deepest appreciation for her program,” stated Chief Innovation & Enterprise Growth Director Jason Tucker, who oversees the Pet Pantry. “She had run out of funds, and he or she had been feeding the canine her meals… she was all the way down to her previous couple of {dollars}, and he or she was having to decide about the way to get meals for her pets.”

And the necessity retains rising.

“Final 12 months we delivered about 3,350 kilos of pet meals,” Tucker stated. “This 12 months, we anticipate offering 3,500 to three,600 kilos of meals. Subsequent 12 months, in 2023, we undertaking that we could stand up to 4,400 kilos of meals.”

Via the years, MOWA has adjusted in a number of methods to greatest serve the altering wants of their shoppers. In 2017, when workers members realized that many seniors didn’t get any meals outdoors of the seven meals the company supplied every week, MOWA applied a breakfast program with shelf-stable breakfast provisions.

Shirley Robinson

One other instance of a service that MOWA has expanded to offer is residence repairs, enabling seniors to age in place. Coupled with the socialization and camaraderie that comes together with visits from volunteers once they ship meals, these providers are very important to serving to seniors survive and thrive. 

Along with meals for cats and canine, the Pet Pantry additionally gives requirements resembling litter containers, leashes, pet meals bowls, beds, and even toys. These provides are delivered as soon as a month. Roughly 19% of the seniors served by MOWA entry the Pet Pantry.

Whereas the vast majority of the group’s general annual funding comes from Meals On Wheels nationwide grants and personal fundraising, partnerships such because the Atlanta Humane Affiliation additionally present meals and items to the Pet Pantry.

“Our seniors reside alone, most of them, so offering that chance to attach with a dwelling being is so vital to their wellbeing and emotional state,” Tucker stated. “These seniors which have pets have a continuing connection and a type of socialization. Seniors have a look at their pets as a part of their household, and it’s so vital for us to offer providers to the senior and the pet to make the household as an entire wholesome and pleased.”

This 12 months, with the assistance of building companions Choate Building, ASD SKY, and Design Galleria Kitchen and Tub Studio, MOWA has been renovating its headquarters and constructing out a brand new kitchen. As soon as accomplished, workers members undertaking they are going to be capable to broaden their choices from greater than 1,800 meals every single day to three,500 meals per day. 

“We wish the group to grasp that by supporting Meals on Wheels Atlanta by way of volunteering or monetary assist, you’re serving to a whole lot of our senior neighbors and their furry associates. That’s our mission – to assist senior independence,” Tucker stated. 

“Further packages just like the Pet Pantry and the breakfast program, that’s how we attempt to shut the gaps that seniors face that we hear about from our volunteers and the seniors who name in. As we use innovation to consider ways in which we will shut these gaps for seniors, we actually depend on the group to assist us by way of giving their time and monetary assist.” 

When you’d prefer to study extra, get entangled, or donate to Meals on Wheels Atlanta, go to their web site 

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