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Pet food available to those affected by pandemic

| July 31, 2020 1:00 AM

More than 9,000 pounds of pet food will be distributed over the next few days to provide relief to those affected by COVID-19.

Humane Society of Western Montana staff will load pet food from the Missoula Summit Beverage warehouse into a U-Haul Monday morning and distribute it to food banks and animal shelters in Great Falls, Cut Bank, Browning and the Flathead Valley.

The food, which totaled just under 25,000 pounds, came to Montana as part of a second grant from the GreaterGood Organization. Humane Society staff and family friends have been hauling the food to locations as far north as Havre and Eureka. Plans are in place to deliver the food to Plains, Darby, Fort Belknap, Ronan and Bonner in the coming weeks.

“It is truly a team effort to distribute this much food. We are using our shelter van, staff pickup trucks and have even rented a 26-foot long U-Haul to ensure the food reaches those in need across the state,” Humane Society Executive Director Marta Pierpoint said. “I think we are all aware that the Pandemic has caused food insecurity across the country. What folks often overlook is that when a family can’t feed themselves, they also cannot feed their pets. Sometimes, people will choose to feed their pet before themselves, sometimes they are so strapped they feel they must rehome their pet.

The first shipment of 21,000 pounds of pet food arrived in April, and was completely distributed and used in a matter of weeks. The Humane Society then successfully applied for a second grant.

HSWM has been assisted by Summit Beverage, which has provided warehouse space and assistance unloading and reloading the food in their Butte and Missoula locations. One of the grant requirements was a secure warehouse with the capacity to unload and store 25 pallets of pet food.

If you are an individual in need of pet food relief, contact your local animal shelter or food bank. If your organization is in need of pet food relief, email development@myhswm.org.