UPDATED w/PICS: New Haven, CT Food Bank for Animals

Postby Marinepits » December 20th, 2009, 5:45 pm

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2009 ... 654960.txt

:rock: Many MANY thanks to Dr Blabs for starting the Giving Tree! :rock:

Pet Peeve: Food bank for animals meets growing need
Published: Sunday, December 20, 2009

By Pamela McLoughlin, Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — When the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen recently stopped serving food in styrofoam take-out containers, there was unusually high concern among the guests.

At first, it was baffling to staffers like Jeanne Marie May, the soup kitchen’s director of operations. After a little bit of friendly investigating, May realized that clients were using the containers to take leftovers home to pets.

On the food pantry side, she also noticed requests for items such as tuna, canned chicken and Spam were up and likely being used to feed dogs and cats.

Her solution: a pet food bank called “Thunder’s Pantry,” named after May’s late horse, a neglected racehorse she rescued in 1988. The food bank opened earlier this year.

“We realized once the economy shifted that people were without resources” to feed their pets, May said. Many of those affected are senior citizens, she said.

“There were times I had to decide between feeding myself or my horse, so I understand the heartbreak of being put in that position,” May said.

May believes animals bring “peace, joy, comfort,” and so their role in these tough times is all the more important. She said some guests at the soup kitchen are quiet, but tell a pet story and the smiles come quickly.

“Everybody has a story about their animal. I think animals are so amazingly healing,” May said. “To some of our guests, their pets are their life.”

The pet pantry has an anonymous sponsor who supplies the outfit with surplus dog, cat and bird food, sometimes rabbit food and assorted animal treats, depending on the store’s stock. On a great day for dogs, there are rawhide treats.

“It’s enough for us to keep the program going on a wing and a prayer,” May said.

But the demand is high and donations are always needed. The pantry now gives out 1,000 pounds of animal food every two weeks. More people are putting pet food in with their people food donations, and some businesses have taken up the cause, May said.

At Bethany Veterinary Hospital, they have a “giving tree,” for donations to Thunder’s Pantry and have already collected hundreds of pounds of food. Veterinarian Akisa Wayland said they’ll continue collecting after the holidays.

Wayland said homelessness among animals is increasing. More and more people are abandoning animals at the hospital, Wayland said. In some cases, the animals have injuries that people likely couldn’t afford to treat.

“We’ve been hearing reports of people going to soup kitchens and doing without food themselves to feed their animals,” Wayland said.

Ryan Soennichsen, business director at Connecticut Sports Center in Woodbridge, said they have a holiday corner set up for Toys for Tots, Thunder’s Pantry and to collect winter blankets for the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen. The pet food collection is slow, he said, but they’re going to continue after the holiday. They will be open for holiday donations through noon Wednesday.

“I think it’s a great cause. It’s something I didn’t think about (needy pets),” Soennichsen said.

The soup kitchen does not accept money donations. Pet and people food can be dropped off at the soup kitchen, 311 Temple St., Sunday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.


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Postby iluvk9 » December 20th, 2009, 6:36 pm

That is so cool.

Dr. Blabs ROCKS. :rock:
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Postby madremissy » December 20th, 2009, 7:38 pm

Way to go Alisa, oh I mean Akisa :wink:
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Postby airwalk » December 20th, 2009, 7:39 pm

I am sooooo glad to see pet food pantry's opening up all across the country. Our little one keeps serving more and more pets...but it keeps them in their homes and with their people and relieves a bit of stress for the humans during tough times.

Dr. Blabs...you are an angel.
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Postby LMM » December 20th, 2009, 7:56 pm

This is awesome!
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Postby iluvk9 » December 21st, 2009, 9:43 am

madremissy wrote:Way to go Alisa, oh I mean Akisa :wink:


I thought I needed stronger reading glasses. :giggle:
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Postby Pit♥bull » December 21st, 2009, 10:10 am

iluvk9 wrote:
madremissy wrote:Way to go Alisa, oh I mean Akisa :wink:


I thought I needed stronger reading glasses. :giggle:

Maybe it's 'snow blindness' :P
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Postby Marinepits » December 21st, 2009, 4:33 pm

I spoke to Dr Blabs today and she is getting some great responses from this article -- a gentleman met her at work this morning with a bunch of bags of dog food and treats with a promise of more to come.

If anyone would like to donate, I will take up a collection and purchase the food, then drop it off at Dr Blab's office. If you're within an hour's drive of my house, I will pick up any food you'd like to donate. (No opened bags, please.) PM me for details.....
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Postby iluvk9 » December 21st, 2009, 4:39 pm

Do you know the way to Long Island? :popcorn2:
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 21st, 2009, 4:40 pm

:clap:
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Marinepits » December 21st, 2009, 5:02 pm

iluvk9 wrote:Do you know the way to Long Island? :popcorn2:


How many dozens of trips did I make to the Cancer Center with Indy? lol
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Postby blabsforbullies » December 21st, 2009, 10:07 pm

:wave2: Hey there, Akisa here.... :neener:

Wow. Thank you so much everyone. I really am so touched by all the support!
:groupHug: :groupHug: :groupHug:

It was an amazing day today! :elephant: It started with the story that MarinePits shared, and in addition to a few other donations, I had a few others that made happy! A single mother with her daughter, who deseperately wants to be a veterinarian, came in with homemade cookies for the staff and I :wink: ....and a HUGE bag of food. I know they cannot afford it, but they wanted to give. :smileUp:

And then about 5 minutes to closing, a young couple came in with, and I am NOT exaggerating, EIGHT plastic grocery bags of pet food and then an additional 3 more 20 lb bags of dog food. :shock: It took three trips to the car to get it in the hospital. I just couldn't beleive my eyes (of course, they were a bit teary :oops: ). I am going to make another run to the soup kitchen tomorrow. :helloClap:

Thank you for all your kind words and support! You have all become part of my extended family, and I thank you for everything. :hug3:
We have a Mastiff... does that count??? :)
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Postby amazincc » December 21st, 2009, 10:12 pm

The pantry now gives out 1,000 pounds of animal food every two weeks.


THAT is just mind-blowing. :shock:

Click/treat for you, Dr. Blabs... :D :D :D
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Postby CinderDee » December 22nd, 2009, 4:48 am

That's awesome! WTG Akisa!!! :highfive:
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Postby iluvk9 » January 5th, 2010, 10:36 am

Marinepits wrote:
iluvk9 wrote:Do you know the way to Long Island? :popcorn2:


How many dozens of trips did I make to the Cancer Center with Indy? lol


True! And every time I pass it, I think of brave Indy. :hug3:
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Postby Marinepits » January 5th, 2010, 10:37 am

:D Anyone else feeling generous? Finalizing collections this week.....
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Postby Marinepits » January 27th, 2010, 3:42 pm

Thanks to very generous donations from a forum member and some friends and neighbours, I was able to purchase nearly $750 worth of food to donate to Thunder's Pantry! I dropped off some food and treats at Dr. Blab's office a couple of weeks ago, and dropped off the rest today.

The folks at Costco look at you funny when you're pushing around a sled loaded with pet food (one lady asked me "Just how MANY pets do you have?!?" :giggle: ) I explained Thunder's Pantry concept to quite a few people and everyone was very interested to learn about a "soup kitchen for pets".

Food and treats, plus food for pocket pets
Image

If anyone ever needs to know, you can fit approximately 12 40-pound bags and at least 5 25-pound bags of food in the back of a Wrangler. Probably could've crammed in a lot more, but ran out of money. :lol3:
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Postby amazincc » January 27th, 2010, 7:01 pm

Damn... you know how to SHOP!!! :shock: :clap:

So, how does it work at the soup kitchen? Do they re-bag the food and distribute it to the homeless pets that way?
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Postby blabsforbullies » November 29th, 2010, 8:15 pm

THANK YOU JEN AND ALL THE DONORS!!!! I just can't say enough about how greatful I am... words just aren't enough.

:groupHug: :groupHug: :groupHug:

amazincc wrote:Damn... you know how to SHOP!!! :shock: :clap:

So, how does it work at the soup kitchen? Do they re-bag the food and distribute it to the homeless pets that way?


I have been helping the soup kitchen organizer with how to distribute the pet food. What we have come up with is she is going to calculate what is enough for food for about 2 weeks, and re-bag it into "small, medium, and large" sized dogs (same amount for cats and other critters). We've had a few people donate treats and such, so she will throw a few "cookies" and "goodies" into each of the bags, so that all can have something special.

We are lucky enough to have a few people continue their collection efforts and we are going to try and give a little to them all throughout the year.

:woowoo: WOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!! :woowoo:


Thank you SO VERY MUCH, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, TO ALL THAT DONATED AND HELPED OUT WITH THIS!!! :heartbeat: :heartbeat: :heartbeat:
We have a Mastiff... does that count??? :)
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Postby Marinepits » November 29th, 2010, 8:17 pm

It's that time of year again and Dr Blabs is collecting for Thunder's Pantry! If anyone would like to donate, please contact me via PM and we'll make arrangements.....
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