National Pet Food Bank Program

by Humane Canada
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National Pet Food Bank Program
National Pet Food Bank Program
National Pet Food Bank Program

We’ve been busy here at Humane Canada with our National Pet Food Bank program. We recently caught up with our eight second-round National Pet Food Bank grant recipients and we received great feedback. These recipients ranged from a volunteer-led humane society in Revelstoke, BC to an amazing human social service organization in Toronto, to an innovative food bank in Stanley, NB.

Alexandra Lohnes, Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Regina Humane Society said, “We are over the moon with how our outreach program, Pet Connection, has grown since receiving the Humane Canada National Pet Food Bank Grant.” Thanks to the generous support of our donors, seven out of eight of these organizations reported that they will continue to offer emergency pet food services even after their grant is complete.

We are currently in Phase 1 of our networking project - developing a systems map that connects existing emergency pet food services right across the country. According to a recent study, one way to better support vulnerable families with pets is to raise awareness of the services available to them. This means working with both human and animal welfare organizations to map their services, location and hours, as well as the eligibility criteria of these services. Raising awareness for pet guardians about these services will bring support and help families navigate these often-complex systems.

Companion animals and the human-animal bond are important to the lives of all families, so it is essential that we recognize the need for support, especially amongst current rising costs, to support people and pets in need, while keeping them together.

We thank you for your generous support of our National Pet Food Bank as we continue to grow this program. We will continue to inform you on our progress, and please follow with us on social media for updates.

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Hello wonderful supporters, 

Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to make a difference for thousands of Canadians and their companion animals over the past year by helping to keep them together in times of hardship. 

During the first year of operation, the National Pet Food Bank program has provided support for more than 12,000 companion animals in need. Humane Canada has been working to keep companion animals with their families in times of need, by alleviating pet food insecurity through our pet food bank grants. To date, we have disbursed $80,000 to organizations across Canada to help them provide pet food bank services to their communities. We have seen amazing support delivered through this program, and there is still much work to be done as communities across the country continue to face challenges. 

A fundamental goal of the National Pet Food Bank program is to develop a national system that will make pet food banking services available to all communities across the country in a unified way. We have been working closely with experts from various sectors over the past year to develop a strategy to achieve this goal. We are excited to be putting this plan into action so that all Canadians and their companion animals can access the support they need during challenging times. 

Our effort to feed vulnerable animals and support Canadians in times of hardship is incredibly important to us.We are deeply grateful for all our donors who make this effort possible – thank you for supporting the National Pet Food Bank program, and for supporting Canadians and companion animals in need. 

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Many of us find that our companion animals provide us with social support and a sense of purpose, and interacting with them can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. In turn, we take care of our beloved companions and strive to provide them with healthy, happy homes. 

The important human-animal bond that we share with our companion animals is a large part of why Humane Canada launched the National Pet Food Bank Program. Ensuring that Canadians are able to provide the care that their animals need during times of hardship, is crucial for keeping fur-families together and preserving this valuable bond. 

The grant period for our first-round of National Pet Food Bank grants concluded on December 31, 2021, and we were overwhelmed by the positive feedback that we received. The eight grant recipients were able to provide much-needed support to help their community members continue to care for their companion animals through challenging times. We heard accounts of resounding community support for these programs that helped promote awareness and create new partnerships that will sustain these valuable pet food banking efforts into the future. We would like to say a big Thank You to our first round of grant recipients for their incredible work! 

With the generous support of our valued donors, Humane Canada was able to provide a second round of grants at the end of 2021. We provided another $40,000 to support the pet food banking initiatives of eight additional organizations, including the Revelstoke & District Humane Society in Revelstoke, BC, and the Just Friends Food Bank in Stanley, New Brunswick. To see the full list of our second-round grant recipients, and to learn more about the National Pet Food Bank program, please visit https://humanecanada.ca/national-pet-food-bank/ 

We are deeply grateful for your support of the National Pet Food Bank program, especially as the pandemic continues to present financial challenges for many Canadians who may need support for their companion animals. Every contribution helps us continue to provide these grants and preserve the important human-animal bond shared by Canadians and their companions across the country. Thank you!

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Hello wonderful supporters, 

Did you know that 90% of Canadians with a pet identify them as family? Imagine not having enough resources to feed your family – all of them – even the animals. 

Canadians are animal lovers with more than 60% of households having a pet. The pandemic created a crisis that across the country made both people and their beloved animals financially vulnerable. Humane Canada set out to support those vulnerable animals and their families. With your help, we strived to do two things; make pet food banking more accessible during this crisis and create a positive legacy from the Covid crisis – a national, accessible pet food bank system. 

In January 2021, Humane Canada publicly launched a new grant program providing funding and support to organizations, helping vulnerable companion animals stay with their families through access to pet food and care items.  This grant was made possible through Humane Canada donors like you, and a matching grant program. We received 51 grant applications and were able to support 8 organizations across the country to help feed 9,220 animals. We are so proud of this accomplishment but it also let us know that there were another 43 organizations that needed our help, amounting to more than 75,000 animals in need. So, we set to work to make more money available for another grant.  

But we didn’t want to stop with only a grant, we wanted to make sure that there was an effective system in Canada to support animals in need on an on-going basis. So, this summer we convened a National Taskforce to design a new model that will work to achieve our vision: that pet food support is readily accessible for owners of companion animals in Canada during times of need. An accessible and sustainable network of pet food bank services that will help keep pets and people together and reduce pet surrenders. We are ready to implement that strategy to increase access for people in need and to increase donor support.   

We are excited to announce that we plan to launch a second grant cycle in October of this year! Humane Canada is starting a fund specifically for granting to organizations that provide pet food to vulnerable animals. It is a first of its kind in Canada. We could not do this without your help so please continue to give and to support our efforts to ensure that those individuals who are struggling to feed their pets receive the help they need and that we can keep families together through these difficult times. 

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting our National Pet Food Bank program, we hope you will continue to join us in funding this important effort to directly feed vulnerable animals. 

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puppy with food bowl
puppy with food bowl

A bowl of pet food can make the difference between keeping a pet and having to give it up. 58% of Canadian households report they own at least one dog or cat, and many consider their companion animals a member of their family. 

The Covid-19 crisis illuminated the need for animal shelters across Canada to adjust their operations in order to not only focus on protection, adoption and education, but also to provide critical social and community support to companion-animal-loving Canadians who may be suffering financially in this uncertain time.  

“It is no secret that the pandemic has brought on financial challenges for many Canadians,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO, Humane Canada. “Animal shelters throughout our country are reporting an increasing need from the community – particularly for pet food. As government support programs end, we anticipate more risk to companion animals of homelessness and abandonment,” concluded Cartwright. 

Therefore, mechanisms are now needed to ensure that families can afford to keep their beloved companion animals and that our shelter system does not become overwhelmed by surrenders.  With a $100,000 grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, Humane Canada aims provide immediate emergency grants to organizations involved in pet food banking, while convening a taskforce of experts from animal shelters, Food Banks Canada, pet food retailers and manufacturers to determine how to set up Canada’s first National Pet Food Bank system. 

Humane Canada launched the first round of grants this past March and selected eight organizations, including the Saskatchewan SPCA and The Agapé Centre, a soup kitchen and food bank in Cornwall, Ont. The response to this grant was outstanding and while Humane Canada was not able to provide funding for all applicants, thanks to the help received by Petsmart Charities of Canada, a second round of grants will open for applications in the fall of 2021.  

Since 1999, through its partnership with more than 220 humane societies, SPCAs and pet rescues across Canada, PetSmart Charities of Canada has helped more than 300,000 pets to find loving homes via its in-store adoption program in over 140 PetSmart® stores. The leading funder of animal welfare has also donated more than $19 million to positively impact communities, to connect people and pets, to help preserve families and to improve access to veterinary care through initiatives like this with Humane Canada. 

To learn more about this breakthrough national program, please visit https://humanecanada.ca/national-pet-food-bank/ 

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Organization Information

Humane Canada

Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @humanecanada
Project Leader:
Liz Wheeler
Ottawa, ON Canada
$5,400 raised of $20,000 goal
 
79 donations
$14,600 to go
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