Keeping Families Together
Originally founded in Kelowna, BC, the Animal Food Bank aims to become a national organization promoting the sharing of resources and knowledge, and promoting collaboration between organizations working to feed and shelter the pets of the homeless and no/low-income individuals by working together to help change their circumstances. Our organization aims to help fill gaps where we find them, and collaborate and support existing organizations. We don’t want any family to be in a position where they have to surrender their pet because they can’t afford to care for them. Pets provide our lives with so much and expect so little in return. The least we can do is help make sure the furry family members have a meal, too.
Working To End The Stigma
All pet lovers know first hand how important our pets are to us and our families. We wouldn’t trade the love, purpose, companionship, and acceptance they provide for anything in the world. That is only magnified for the low/no income and anyone experiencing homlessness. Pets are often the only being that has loved them unconditionally. And for many, their pets provide security, are their family and the one thing they can count on in their daily life. They are often their inspiration in working towards rebuilding their lives. And too often, service doors are shut on them because of their pet. We are working to change that.
With the goal of being national, we currently operate branches of the Animal Food Bank in the following areas:
Frequently Asked Questions
Currently, our focus is on pet food and supplies. We don’t discriminate as to the pets requesting help and have helped cats, dogs, birds, hamsters and guinea pigs so far. We hope to eventually provide low-cost and no-cost vet care and assist homeless shelters and housing agencies in implementing pet-friendly practices.
If you are struggling to fill your pet’s food bowls, you can access our resources as often as once a month, and for as long as you would like. We are 100% donation-based so do ask that you keep in mind that others also need our services. We also will track the quantity and frequency of food provided to your pets and the number and type of animals you have to help ensure the resources are being used for the pets they were supplied for.
The Animal Food Bank depends greatly on volunteers and donations to operate. We rely heavily on the community’s food and monetary donations, our partnerships with local businesses to be drop-off locations, and our volunteers to handle requests for help coming in and pick up and drop off food and supplies where needed.
Once you have submitted your request for help, and a volunteer offers to do the delivery, one of our team will be in touch with the phone number submitted on your phone. We aim to deliver within 7 days of the request.
We currently do not have a qualification process and hope never to have one. Part of our goals is to keep the Animal Food Bank as a low barrier as possible. please submit a Request For Help form found HERE>>
We certainly aren’t exclusive to dogs. We want to help ALL pets! Interestingly enough, the demand for cat food and litter is sky-high, so we seem to always have cats on our waiting list for help. But yes, we don’t discriminate, we will provide food for rodents and birds.
Our distribution is 100% volunteer-run. Deliveries are based on volunteer availability, but we do our best to deliver within seven days of receiving a request. We do not offer pickups. We don’t guarantee a time for delivery but do try to provide a window of time (i.e. morning, afternoon, evening). It would be best if you were home to accept the delivery.
We support animals in need with a special focus on the pets of homeless individuals, no-income and low-income individuals and families, and individuals and families who may just be going through some hard times financially.
We do our best to keep donations within the community there were donated in, ensuring there are no unmet needs within that community (no waitlist requests outstanding) before filling unmet needs elsewhere.
We do operate on the philosophy that the world is our community, and while we can’t feed animals in faraway lands, we will share food and supplies with closer communities in need where we can. For example, food donated in Winnipeg may be distributed in northern and remote communities where donations and supplies are sparse.
We accept donations of all types of pet food and supplies (dry, wet, open, unopened) and cat litter… We can usually find a home for all kinds of items, including pet beds, scratching points, carriers, bird cages, collars, leashes, harnesses, and toys.
We do our best to try to keep pets on the same food(s) or at least brand(s) they are currently on. We also do our best to keep in mind allergies, so we ask these two questions on our Request For Help form. Supply is based on what donations we have in our inventory; however, so type, brand and flavour cannot be guaranteed.
We absolutely will take donations of open food. Many times pets need to change their food for various reasons, leaving the owner with unopened food. We will take it into our inventory for donation inventory for use by a pet in need rather than that food going to waste.
There are many ways you can help:
Employee food drives
Becoming a drop off location
Donation of services or products (printing, graphic design, pet food, promotional materials, etc.)
No. Part of our philosophy is creating a connection with the individuals and families who need us, promoting collaboration and awareness and ensuring we are doing our best to help the family as a unit. We also monitor the frequency of donations provided to pets to ensure we are catching abuse of our resources. For these reasons, you may not request food on behalf of someone else. Misuse of our program may result in future requests being declined.
We currently limit our help to four animals per household, once per month. We do not support the addition of animals into households currently struggling with feeding and providing food for current pets. We will happily refer you to one of our partner organizations for help with rehoming animals where needed.