28th December 2020
The Humane Society of Summit County (HSSC) works to create a compassionate community, for both animals and people. During this challenging year, more people than ever have experienced food insecurity, a desperate situation that extends to their entire families – pets included. When pet owners don’t have pet food available, people may go hungry to make sure their pets have a meal.
Through a generous grant from the County of Summit and Akron Community Foundation, made available through federal CARES Act funding, HSSC has mobilized to distribute over 25,000 pounds of dry dog and cat food to Summit County residents in need. We are working with local food pantries to disperse this supply to their clients who own pets. This program is expected to provide a one-month supply of food for up to 1600 families and 3000 pets. Food is being dispersed through nearly 15 area food pantries through the end of December. Two Men and a Truck of Akron donated their services over three days to make deliveries.
OPEN M is among the partner food pantries that is offering pet food to its clients through this program. Rachel Milliron, Marketing Coordinator of OPEN M shares, “OPEN M is thrilled to partner with the Humane Society of Summit County to offer dog and cat food to our Food Services participants in need. We hope to provide a source of nourishment to all members of the family, human and animal alike, so that no one must go hungry to keep their pet fed.”
Sanctuary Church Food Pantry in Kenmore accepted a donation of 200 bags of pet food it intends to distribute through the next year. John Klapp of Sanctuary Church says pet food is the most popular item requested, “This will draw more people than turkeys for Thanksgiving,” he said of the pet food.
“Our food pantries are at the front line of ensuring Summit County families have enough to eat in times of crisis. We know pet owners consider their pets to be their family members as well. We are proud to help people meet the needs of their pets during this challenging time through this supply of food. More than anything, we hope to keep families together,” says Diane Johnson-Owens, President/CEO of HSSC.
During the pandemic, our organization has received many more calls requesting assistance with pet food and an uptick in requests from owners to surrender their animals because of a lack of resources to care for them. Programs such as nutritional support for owned pets is aimed at helping pet owners struggling so that they can keep their pets through times of hardship.
Individuals who are interested in benefiting from this supply of food are encouraged to reach out to their area food pantry, and pet food will be distributed per each pantry’s guidelines and procedures. Pet food for the community is not available at the Humane Society of Summit County. While current available pet food supplies are mostly expended, food pantries that wish to partner to distribute pet food are encouraged to contact the Humane Society of Summit County for more information at (234)212-9749.