You’re probably familiar with food pantries and their efforts to collect food to provide for those people who can’t afford it. Would it surprise you to learn that the Companion Animal Food Effort (C.A.F.E.) is attempting to do the same for animals whose owners can’t afford food for them as Wisconsin’s first pet food pantry?

Pet Food Pantry

You may be surprised to learn that most outreach programs do not offer pet food to their guests. They don’t have the means to do more than facilitate the adoption. We are hoping to change that! Through the collection of pet food in bins located at retail outlets throughout Southern Wisconsin as well as from private donors, we hope to build a pet food pantry that will offer pet food assistance for those owners who love their pets but don’t have the means to provide for them.

In the difficult economic times of recent years, we have seen far too many pet owners forced to surrender their beloved pets because they just can’t afford to care for or feed them. In addition, for some low-income people and the elderly may love their pet dearly but it can be nearly impossible to care for their pet. They are often forced to choose between their own needs and the needs of their pet. As a pet food pantry, at the C.A.F.E. we hope to help these families focus on their needs while still caring for their pets.

Pet Food Assistance

We all know that taking care of a pet is a life-long commitment. In a perfect world, everyone would be able to provide for all of their pet’s needs for their entire lives but sometimes our financial circumstances change for the worse. That is where a pet food pantry can help, like we did in this situation:

I was given a link to your organization because I posted a listing on Craigslist asking if there were any Good Samaritans out there who could help us with purchasing a bag of Wellness dog food for our Collie . . .we have fell on some very difficult financial times with both of our vehicles needing brakes, our mortgage in default and my husband unable to work. The need is temporary because we are in the process of selling one of our vehicles. We have no desire to surrender her or anything like that . . . she is well loved and cared for we simply cannot afford her food this month. Anyway, does your organization have a “food pantry” for dogs? We simply cannot afford to buy her a bag of dog food until after May 15.”                                      Email from JR

We hope that The C.A.F.E. can help people who have found themselves in financial difficulty so that they do not ever have to make the choice between providing for themselves or their animal companions. We are looking to support those families through agencies that are already in place. We currently have multiple food pantries who have made the commitment to the C.A.F.E. to assist in distributing pet food that is collected to those who are in need. However, until we have a reliable supply, our contributions are unpredictable, so we hope that you will help us by donating wet or dry cat or dog food as well as cat litter so we can continue our pet food assistance efforts.

Pet Food Pantry Collection Locations

Food collected will be distributed through these area outreach locations:

Bethel Baptist Church, Janesville, WI
Caritas, Beloit, WI

Milton community Outreach
Edgerton Community Outreach
Salvation Army, Janesville, WI

For questions about the C.A.F.E. or if you would like to help, you can contact us at cafe@friendsofnoah-wi.org.