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The Rise of the Pet Food Bank
As the cost of living continues to rise many of us will be feeling the pinch and in some cases really struggling. There have been many stories in the media lately about people having to use food banks when their finances aren't stretching far enough, with one food bank alone, The Trussell Trust, distributing over 2.1 million emergency food parcels in just one year. With people struggling so much all across the UK and many different demographics and with over 52% of people who report owning pets, there has inevitably been a rise in food banks for pets too.
Pet food banks can be a literal lifesaver for thousands of pets across the country when times are hard and we thought we should do a little digging into some of these amazing charities and find out what they do, how they do it and how we can all get involved to make sure that no pet goes hungry during hard times.
What Is A Pet Food Bank?
A pet food bank is a charitable organisation or program that provides free or low-cost pet food to pet owners in need. The goal of a pet food bank is to help ensure that pets do not go hungry due to their owners' financial struggles.
Pet food banks are generally run or organised by animal shelters, rescue charities, or other nonprofit organisations. They rely on donations of pet food and funds from the community to operate. In addition to providing pet food, some pet food banks may also offer other pet-related services, such as low-cost spay/neuter services or veterinary care assistance.
Pet food banks can be especially helpful during times of economic hardship, like many of us are going through right now, when pet owners might be struggling to afford basic necessities, such as energy and food, for themselves and their pets. By providing free or low-cost pet food, treats and other necessities, pet food banks can help keep pets at home and out of rescue centres.
How Do Pet Food Banks Work?
Pet food banks are run solely on donations and time given by the public. Some will have designated pick-up and collection points in supermarkets or pet shops and some will have locations that are used solely for them where donations can be dropped off or picked up by those in need. Because of the need for donations, it is imperative that, if we can, we should all be helping to fill these non-profit’s shelves.
If you are in need of a pet food bank, some will have eligibility requirements that you will need to meet and prove as such, and some will take it on trust and hand out food to anyone in need. It's obviously important not to use them if you can afford your pet’s food as you might be taking it away from people and pets who are really desperate.
How to Find My Nearest Pet Food Bank
Finding your nearest pet food bank can sometimes be a little tricky as some food banks will include pet food but won’t come up on searches for pet food banks on Google or other search engines. You can get in touch with your local food bank and ask if they accept donations of pet foods, or for those in need if they distribute pet products.
The RSPCA has a pet food bank map that can help find a local pet food-specific food bank, as does the Blue Cross. There is also the PDSA which helps with veterinary care and medication for those struggling, you can find their eligibility checker here> and their donations page here>
Donating to Pet Food Banks
Donations however small are always happily accepted by all pet food banks, whether it's foods, treats, toys, chews or grooming products. If you can’t think what would be best to donate just try and think what your pet couldn’t go without. Basically, anything you can find on our shelves here, at Natural Cornish Pet, would probably be gratefully received.
If you think that your area isn't properly served by a pet food bank and you feel there might be pets in need locally, why not start a local collection? A simple Facebook page and a dry place to store necessities could be the start of something great!
So if you are ever finding it hard in the current economic climate and you think your pets might suffer from your unforeseen financial problems, don’t panic as there is help for those in need. And for those of us lucky enough to have a little spare, donating to food banks that serve the animals of the UK is a great way to pay it forward and give back to the animals that are most in need.
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