27 Sep Feeding Northeast Florida Receives 38,000 Pound Pet Food Donation from PetSmart Charities® To Help Pets and Pet Owners on The First Coast
Pet Food Provided to Families Facing Financial Hardship
Jacksonville, FL – September 23, 2021 – Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL), a Feeding America member food bank serving eight counties in Northeast Florida, recently received a 38,000 pound pet food donation from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder in animal welfare, to help families with pets facing financial hardship and food insecurity.
Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8) may experience food insecurity in 2021. In Northeast Florida, nearly 240,000 individuals (1 in 7) are struggling with basic needs according to FNEFL, including putting food on the table or in their pets’ bowl. While reports of food insecurity have made national headlines, pet food insecurity still looms beneath the surface, despite the fact that 60% of households are pet owners.
Pets provide a sense of comfort and well-being for families, especially during challenging times. Having access to pet food helps ensure that people don’t have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pets. It also ensures that pets are able to remain happy and healthy with their families, during the times that they need them most.
“Our food bank saw a 129% increase in people served during 2020 and we are on track to distribute more than double the amount of food we provided to the community pre-pandemic,” said Susan King, President and CEO of FNEFL. “We know that when pet owners are struggling, they are often forced to make the difficult choice between food for themselves or their beloved pets. This generous donation from PetSmart Charities helps eliminate that impossible choice.”
The PetSmart Charities donation enabled FNEFL to provide nearly 11,400 pounds of cat food to First Coast No More Homeless Pets, a low-cost veterinary clinic and hospital, and distribute over 26,600 pounds of dog food through FNEFL’s mobile pantry food distributions in Bradford, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties.
Earlier this year, PetSmart Charities made a $10 million commitment to Feeding America to support pets and their families through 2021. This donation will enable Feeding America partners to offer pet food to families affected by financial hardship, in addition to traditional pantry staples.
“Food insecurity is at an all-time high for families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and historically we’ve seen many stories about pet parents in need who sacrifice to feed their pets before they feed themselves,” said Aimee Gilbreath, President at PetSmart Charities. “We are proud to make this commitment to provide much-needed pet food to families across the U.S., ultimately helping keep pets and people together during this challenging time.”
About Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL)
Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) is the region’s largest nonprofit (501c3) food bank and hunger relief network. FNEFL provides nutritious foods and other essential goods to those in need, and strives to improve the quality of life for people living in Northeast Florida by addressing food insecurity, poverty
and poor health. Alongside our network of food distribution, agency and community partners, the Food Bank provides food resources and hope to help the more than 1 in 7 people living in our eight-county service area (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns) who struggle to feed themselves and their families. Feeding Northeast Florida works daily to find solutions to address the issues of food insecurity and poverty through awareness, advocacy, education, and action in ways that promote dignity, respect and empowerment. For more information, visit feedingnefl.org.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $450 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.