Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Scoop on Pets, Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley

The Scoop on Pets
Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley
By Denise Cassidy

We are all aware of our local food banks and food pantries, which help families and individuals in need, put food on their tables.  But who feeds their pets?  We are very fortunate in the Lehigh Valley to have an Animal Food Bank.  The Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley began in 2005, as a Girl Scout project.  They distributed pet food out of the Trinity Soup Kitchen in Bethlehem, to pet parents, on a monthly basis.  As the need grew, so did the number of volunteers and Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley received its non-profit status in 2009.  It is currently located on 3rd Street in Bethlehem, in the Fowler Family Southside Center.
Currently, there are 6 regular volunteers, and high school students also volunteer their time to fulfill their community service requirements.  200 clients are currently registered, and the food bank feeds over 6000 pets per month.  Federal poverty guidelines are used to determine financial need for the pet food.
Along with emergency pet food distribution, the Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley also offers monthly food distribution, pet supplies and toys (when available), information on low-cost spay/neuter & vaccines, educational information and pet food coupons.  Regular food distribution happens on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th Fridays of the month, between 1-5PM.  Each registered client can attend one distribution per month.  When there is surplus food available, pet food is also supplied to area no-kill shelters, animal rescues (501C3) and feral cat colonies.  The first priority is to supply pet food to families/individuals with pets, in order to keep them out of the shelter system.  Dogs must maintain a current county license, and dog and cats must maintain a current rabies vaccine to continue to receive food.
The Animal Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley’s Mission is simple:  “To keep pets with their families and alleviate animal hunger by soliciting, collecting, packaging and distributing pet food to individuals and families in need.”  Achieving that goal is no simple task, and requires the efforts and generosity of the community.
If you would like to help, donations can be made on their website www.animalfoodbanklehighvalley.com
Or by mail: 
PO Box 5215
Bethlehem, PA  18015 
484-851-8000

Items needed:
·        Monetary donations
·        Pet Food Coupons
·        Volunteers
·        Pet Food
o   Dry Dog & Cat Food
o   Canned Dog & Cat Food
o   Pet Bird Food
o   Rabbit, turtle, hamster, fish, chinchilla foods
o   Cat Litter
o   General pet supplies

Please consider supporting the Animal Food Bank in any way that you can.  The Lehigh Valley’s pets need our help.  Denise Cassidy-Dietsch, Doodie Calls www.doodiecalls.us

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