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Meals on Wheels pet pantry helps keep seniors’ pets fed

Shirley Robinson

Animals can do miracles for a senior’s good quality of life. Lots of seniors depend on the associations they type with their furry mates to prevent loneliness and to really feel a feeling of purpose. But when there is not enough foods to go close to, some seniors may well make your mind up to sacrifice some of their individual provisions to continue to keep their pets fed and wholesome. 

Shirley Robinson, who’s 74, stated she after anxious about how she would find food items for her two pet canine, Lucky and Max. But now, as a client of Meals On Wheels Atlanta’s Pet Pantry method, she will get foodstuff for them shipped when the agency’s volunteers provide food for her. “That is so fantastic,” she claimed. “That is lovely.” 

MOWA has been serving seniors battling with starvation considering the fact that 1965. As the agency grew from its humble beginnings as a soup kitchen to a sophisticated software that serves much more than 600,000 meals to metro Atlanta seniors’ each yr, workers associates realized that seniors offering food stuff for their animals produced a challenge the company desired to aid deal with. In 2010, MOWA commenced furnishing pet food and pet treatment objects to shoppers who need them via its Pet Pantry.

“There was a senior who identified as and was in close proximity to tears as she expressed her deepest appreciation for her plan,” said Main Innovation & Enterprise Development Director Jason Tucker, who oversees the Pet Pantry. “She had run out of cash, and she experienced been feeding the pet dog her food… she was down to her past handful of bucks, and she was obtaining to make a determination about how to get food items for her animals.”

And the need to have retains rising.

“Last year we sent about 3,350 lbs . of pet foodstuff,” Tucker claimed. “This yr, we anticipate offering 3,500 to 3,600 lbs . of foodstuff. Subsequent yr, in 2023, we undertaking that we may get up to 4,400 lbs . of food stuff.”

Via the a long time, MOWA has altered in numerous strategies to finest serve the shifting desires of their customers. In 2017, when personnel customers understood that lots of seniors didn’t get any foodstuff outside of the 7 foods the company supplied each 7 days, MOWA applied a breakfast program with shelf-stable breakfast provisions.

Shirley Robinson

Yet another case in point of a services that MOWA has expanded to offer is household repairs, enabling seniors to age in place. Coupled with the socialization and camaraderie that comes together with visits from volunteers when they supply meals, these products and services are critical to helping seniors survive and thrive. 

In addition to food for cats and canines, the Pet Pantry also supplies requirements these as litter bins, leashes, pet meals bowls, beds, and even toys. Those supplies are delivered when a month. Approximately 19% of the seniors served by MOWA entry the Pet Pantry.

Though the majority of the organization’s over-all once-a-year funding arrives from Foods On Wheels countrywide grants and personal fundraising, partnerships this kind of as the Atlanta Humane Affiliation also supply foods and goods to the Pet Pantry.

“Our seniors stay on your own, most of them, so offering that opportunity to link with a living staying is so important to their wellbeing and emotional condition,” Tucker explained. “Those seniors that have pets have a regular connection and a kind of socialization. Seniors glance at their pets as element of their relatives, and it is so crucial for us to give expert services to the senior and the pet to make the spouse and children as a total balanced and content.”

This year, with the assistance of development companions Choate Development, ASD SKY, and Style Galleria Kitchen and Tub Studio, MOWA has been renovating its headquarters and constructing out a new kitchen. Once accomplished, staff associates task they will be equipped to develop their offerings from a lot more than 1,800 meals just about every day to 3,500 foods for each day. 

“We want the community to fully grasp that by supporting Foods on Wheels Atlanta via volunteering or money assist, you are helping hundreds of our senior neighbors and their furry mates. That’s our mission – to aid senior independence,” Tucker mentioned. 

“Additional courses like the Pet Pantry and the breakfast application, that’s how we attempt to shut the gaps that seniors face that we listen to about from our volunteers and the seniors who simply call in. As we use innovation to consider about means that we can near those people gaps for seniors, we definitely count on the community to support us as a result of offering their time and economic support.” 

If you’d like to master a lot more, get involved, or donate to Meals on Wheels Atlanta, check out their web page www.mowatl.org/donations