Pet Stamps? One Nonprofit Feeds Hungry Pets
If you’ve been reading along here, you know that there are a lot of hungry people living in the U.S. today. Over 45 million people are on SNAP (food stamps) as of a recent count, and many more qualify but don’t know it. So what would you do if you were unable to feed your family, but you had a pet as well? Pet food isn’t exactly inexpensive, and dogs may want your table scraps, but every vet knows that’s not the best nutrition for them (or the best thing for delicate stomachs). Many people in that position feel there are limited resources to help their hungry pets. Families often choose between feeding themselves and feeding their pets, or reluctantly turn their pets over to shelters where they may be put down if no one else adopts them.
One group in New York has tried to help families in this tough spot by creating pet food stamps. These food stamps act like normal SNAP benefits, and allow people to buy pet food of any kind. According to one article, “How great is the demand? In just one two-week period last month, 45,000 pet owners applied for pet food assistance, according to Pet Food Stamps founder Marc Okon.”
Here at Manna, we don’t yet have pet food stamps, but we do often receive pet food from your local Petco, and often from our grocery runs. Our mission is to feed the hungry in Montgomery County, and while that hasn’t included pets specifically, we do hand out what we receive in donations so that families can focus on feeding themselves and not worry about what their pets will eat.
What do you think about pet food stamps? What would you do if you had to choose between your own dinner or feeding your beloved pet?