Nonprofit Provides Seniors Food and Meds for Their Pets
So often seniors, veterans, the homeless and those in domestic violence shelters choose to feed their pets instead of themselves because of financial hardships. To the rescue is Pet Food Pantry of OKC, which provides free pet food, medicine and supplies to these local Oklahomans. Every month, the nonprofit organization delivers nearly 10,000 pounds of pet food, along with flea/tick preventative and supplies such as beds and collars to more than 820 pets. Executive Director Candace Beaty, who started as a volunteer, spoke about the importance of delivering items as some are homebound, “We deliver to 250 homes.”
There are 30 volunteer drivers with dedicated routes. Not only do they deliver pet food and supplies but often provide recipients social services information such as utility assistance. The nonprofit organization also provides pet items to domestic violence shelters and to the homeless community. Every two weeks, Beaty interacts with the homeless community in southwest Oklahoma City. “They love and care for their pets so much,” Beaty said. “It is always touching to see.”
Increased Need for Donations
In April, the Pet Food Pantry of OKC started the COVID-19 program. Because the pandemic created additional financial challenges for citizens, many were needing to surrender their pets. To address this issue, the Pet Food Pantry of OKC teamed up with others to serve in southwest Oklahoma City. The hardship continues. Recently, the organization delivered over 126,000 pounds of food. “The need is huge right now,” Beaty said.
Hollywood Feed located at 1200 W. Covell in Edmond serves as one of the drop-off locations for donations. Store Manager Dakoda Thomas has a passion for helping pets and people. Thomas described Edmond as a generous community and has witnessed customers who will buy their pet a toy, for example, and then buy a duplicate to donate. “The community is tight-knit,” said Thomas.
Hollywood Feed works with ten charities and, on average, donates 50 tons of food per year across the entire company. Thomas gives the Pet Food Pantry of OKC, which has been in operation since 2010, high praise. “We are glad to be working with them,” Thomas said. “It is an amazing organization. They help so many people.”
A Small Team Dependent on Volunteers
With only two employees, the Pet Food Pantry of OKC accomplishes everything with the help of 170 volunteers. Volunteers are needed to break down large bags of pet food into smaller, more manageable bags for delivery. The top donation items needed are wet dog food, dry cat food and flea/tick medicine. Call the Pet Food Pantry of OKC at 405-664-2858 or visit petfoodpantryokc.org.
The Edmond drop-off donation sites are A1 Pet Emporium 405-509-6644; Circle E, Inc. 405-340-5425; Family Pet Hospital 405-216-5200; Glen Eagles Pet Hospital 405-463-0600; Hollywood Feed 405-471-5518; Memorial Road Pet Hospital 405-478-3417; 2nd St Wine Co. 405-340-4307; PETCO 405-359-5671; Stoneridge Animal Hospital 405-359-3340; White Oaks Veterinary Clinic 405-330-0676.