The Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry has been helping the underserved of the four- and two-legged varieties since its founding by Susan Katz in 2010. Now the nonprofit needs help as the winter months can be particularly challenging in assisting pet parents who have lost their jobs — or sustained other hardships — in feeding their pets.
Considered the largest pet pantry in the United States, the all-volunteer organization serves more than 187 families per month, including senior citizens, veterans and the disabled.
“We are saving families one pet at a time,” says President Margaret Chadwick. “The need is extreme. Our clients find themselves living in austere conditions on fixed and limited incomes. This program allows them to keep their cherished pets and insures the animal will have proper nutrition. Sadly, some had to surrender their pets to a shelter because they didn’t have enough food for the animal. Other clients reported having skipped meals themselves the last few days of a month in order to afford to feed their beloved pet.”
The program distributes more than 1,800 cans of Frisky cat food and 1,700 cans of Pedigree dog food each month as well as rabbit, guinea pig and bird food, too. The average cost to feed a pet on the program is $1 per day (approximately $30 per month). There are more than 20 families on the waiting list. The clients are strictly vetted on an emergency/ highest-priority basis, but each month those who require help outnumber the resources available.
Here’s what you can do to help:
• Volunteer — The pet pantry always needs willing friends to help staff the distribution points and deliver food to the homebound elderly and disabled.
• Donate cans of food — The organization has a detailed list to choose from.
• Sponsor a pet food drive — With a minimum amount of effort, you or your organization can make a huge difference.
• Make a donation or sponsor a family — For $30 a month, you can directly help a pet stay in its home.
• Visit the pantry — It will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 26 for donation drop-offs and an open house. See for yourself the good it does.
The pantry is at 12 Ridgeview Ave. in White Plains. For more, visit hvpetfoodpantry.org or call Margaret Chadwick at 914-907-3487.