Pet Food Express recently kicked off its annual Fill the Food Bank campaign to help California pet owners with free, nutritious cat and dog food. By offsetting the cost of pet food, Pet Food Express aims to prevent pet owners from surrendering their pet to a shelter due to financial hardship and supports rescues and shelters from taking on new animals that can no longer be cared for, company officials said.
Now through July 31, Pet Food Express is collecting monetary contributions in its 64 California stores and online to directly benefit local pet food banks. All of the funds will be used to purchase and distribute 5-pound bags of nutrient-rich, FirstMate cat and dog food. Pet Food Express has set a 100,000 pound goal for 2022 and will match the first 10,000 pounds of food with their own donation.
“Californians have been hitting hard with financial hardship due to first COVID and now inflation,” said Megan Kniepkamp, community outreach manager at Pet Food Express. “The food from our Fill the Food Bank campaign will absolutely help many California pet families to stay together as they navigate a rough patch, and that’s important for both the pet and the people.”
Every $10 contribution buys a 5-pound bag of FirstMate food. All 24 food banks to receive food from the campaign are low-threshold or open-admission organizations who are interested in the welfare of California’s pet population.
“Food banks are an essential part of the pet care system,” Kniepkamp added. “They reduce the risk of a returned pet to an already over-taxed rescue and shelter system by offsetting the cost of necessary pet care. We want struggling pet owners to know that there is free help available to keep their pets nutritiously fed, cared for, and with them at their home.”
The 2021 Fill the Food Bank campaign turned $230,000 in financial contributions from customers into more than 124,300 pounds (or 24,860 5-pound bags) of high-quality pet food to benefit 20 food banks throughout the state.