Another food drive this Saturday will benefit La Porte Ouverte customers.
The Pet Food Task Force, in partnership with Cape Ann Animal Aid, is hosting a pet food drive this Saturday at Shaw’s supermarket on Eastern Avenue in Gloucester. Donations will go to The Open Door so that the pet food can be distributed to its pantries in Gloucester and Ipswich.
The drive will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and accepts small and medium-sized bags and boxes of cat and dog food and gift cards.
“Helping people connect to food for themselves is our main mission,” said Julie Lafontaine, President and CEO of The Open Door. “Last year, a year like no other, we served nearly 10,000 people with 2.64 million pounds of food, a 27% increase from the previous year.”
“In 2020, The Open Door distributed 8 tonnes of pet food (16,516 pounds),” she added. “For many, the company of a pet is as vital to a person’s well-being as other basic necessities. By its nature, the pandemic has isolated people and pets were a life buoy.”
The Open Door in Gloucester is a food resource center for low-income residents of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Boxford, Rowley, Topsfield and Wenham.
“I really wanted to do it for them,” said Lindsey Feldman, one of the campaign organizers and member of the Pet Food Task Force.
The non-profit Pet Food Task Force, a division of PAWSitive Pantry, was launched in March 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when economic hardship created unprecedented demand for ‘food aid. At the same time, several Greater Boston animal welfare organizations discovered a common problem: Their pantries and pet food services were underutilized. In response, the organizations formed relationships with local pantries and began providing pet food to them. In response to this success, these animal welfare organizations have formed a collaborative network to better coordinate with pantries and retailers statewide.
“We recognize that when people struggle to put food on the table for themselves, they also stretch to feed their pets,” said Lafontaine. “Sometimes it’s easier for someone to come to the pantry for the first time for their pet, then once they’re here they can see the resources available for the whole household.”
People looking to obtain food for themselves or their pets can use The Open Door’s new online ordering system available at www.foodpantry.org/order. Signing up for new users is easy and any pantry customer over the past two years can use the instructions to log in.
For more information on how to contribute to any of these organizations, please visit :.
Cape Ann Animal Aid: capeannanimalaid.org
Pet Food Working Group: petfoodtaskforce.org.
Open door: foodpantry.org
Andrea Holbrook can be contacted at 978-675-2713 or [email protected]