“Ani-Meals” Program Helps Homebound Seniors Feed Their Pets

Wed, 12/09/2009 - 11:02am
By: The Citizen

Thanks to a $1,000 grant Fayette Senior Services, Inc. (FSS) is pleased to announce the launch of “Ani-Meals™” — a new pet program to help homebound seniors feed their pets. The grant funds were made available through the “We All Love Our Pets” (WALOP) program; a partnership between the Banfield Charitable Trust and the Meals On Wheels Association of America. The grant funds will be used to purchase pet food and other supplies needed to support the program.
A recent survey of local Meals On Wheels recipients found that some seniors struggle to provide food for their pets. Some may even forego some of their own meals so their pets can eat. Often, hunger can become a mutual affliction - especially when leaving the house isn't an option. “To many homebound seniors, having a pet is a source of companionship and comfort,” says Executive Director, Debbie Britt. She adds, “The Ani-Meals program is designed to give our Meals On Wheels clients a little help with feeding their pets to help maintain that important bond between the pet owner and the pet. We are very thankful to the Banfield Charitable Trust for recognizing this and for helping to launch our program.”  Fayette Senior Services delivers more than 40,000 Meals On Wheels to more than 250 homebound seniors each year. Currently, more than 30 pets will benefit from the Ani-Meals program.
FSS employees Ginnie Plunkett, Rebecca Doyle, and Heather Dockstader worked together to develop the client survey, program model, and community partnerships; which include the Banfield Pet Hospitals located in PetSmart stores. In addition, a comprehensive database was created that has detailed information on each client’s pet such as the type of pet, breed, weight, age, and the pet’s name(s). The  database also auto-calculates the monthly amount of food needed and the food brand that the pet requires, or is accustomed to, so as to avoid any disruption to the pet’s diet.
Citizens who wish to purchase and donate food for the Ani-Meals program may do so by participating in the Banfield Pet Hospital’s Season of Suppers campaign which runs now through December 31, 2009.  Just go to PetSmart in Peachtree City or Fayetteville and stop by the Banfield Pet Hospital located inside the store.  A Banfield representative will have a list of the specific pet food brands needed for Fayette Senior Services Ani-Meals program. The pet food can then be purchased and placed in the Season of Suppers donation bin. Due to storage limitations, no pet food donations are being accepted directly at Fayette Senior Services at this time.
Beginning in January, 2010, the pet food will be delivered monthly by a team of Ani-Meals volunteers. If you are interested in being an Ani-Meals delivery volunteer, please contact Ginnie Plunkett, Meals On Wheels Coordinator at gplunkett@fayss.org or 770-461-0813 ext. 127.

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