Collaboration and cooperation are the only ways we will end pet food insecurity.
Our Mandate Is To Keep Happy, Loved Pets With Their Guardians
Sixty-six percent of clients surveyed in 2022 said they no longer had to choose between feeding themselves or their pets because we exist. Fifty-six percent said they no longer had to worry about surrendering their pets because we exist. The work we do is an important step in the prevention of unnecessary surrender of pets to already overcrowded shelters, and reduces stress on pet guardians and their pets in need.
Defined as the action of working with someone to achieve shared goals. In our case, ending pet food insecurity on a national scale.
Cooperation is the process of groups of organizations working or acting together for a common benefit – feeding animals in need.
Using our voice to change misconceptions around pet ownership involving homeless and low-income pet guardians.
Using our network to advocate and bring awareness to the importance of services like pet food banks in prevention of surrender.
Originally founded in Kelowna, BC by Nicole and AJ Frey, after a chance encounter with a homeless man and his dog, Odin, in Kelowna BC in late 2019. Nicole researched pet food banks after that meeting and found there wasn’t one in Kelowna, Two days later, the Animal Food Bank was born.
Since then, the Animal Food Bank has become a force of impact, advocacy and change and works tirelessly to become a national organization promoting the sharing of resources and knowledge, and promoting collaboration between organizations working to feed and shelter the the homeless and provide assistance to no/low-income individuals by working together to help change their circumstances.
What started with our two volunteers (our founders) and one pet store partner in Kelowna in December of 2019 has grown to over one hundred volunteers, over 50 pet store partners, and operation across Western Canada with the goal to expand branch operations nationally and globally.
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 demographic and anyone experiencing homelessness. Their pets are often the only being providing them unconditional love and support. And for many, their pets provide security, are their only family and the one thing they can count on in their daily life. They are often their inspiration in working towards rebuilding their lives. They are a key component in their mental health. And are a lifeline. Their pet is our client and we work to improve their lives, and the lives of their loving guardians.
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.
Pet Food Bank Program
Did you know human food banks are not mandated to provide pet food? Neither are humane societies or SPCAS. In fact, most shelters cannot use the pet food donated by the general public for shelter animals. They end up donating the food back out to other organizations.
With zero funding, providing pet food to pets of the homeless and low-income is our core service. It’s as simple (and complicated) as that. Having completed close to 10,000 deliveries and provided over 600,000 meals at the end of 2022, we rely on donations from our pet store and brand partners, businesses and the general public utilizing new food, returned food and/or expired food (which has a shelf life of six months or more) to do this. We don’t waste anything.
Currently operating full-service delivery branches in Vernon, BC, Medicine Hat, AB and Winnipeg MB, and we also provide other pet food banks and rescues across Western Canada. Together we are all working to support loved, happy pets in need.
Are you interested in starting a branch in your city? Visit here to learn more!
Remote Community Feeding Program
Our founder, Nicole, started her dog rescue journey many moons ago by volunteering for Norway House Animal Rescue Network in her home town of Winnipeg, MB. She was exposed to the harsh reality of life for dogs in northern and remote communities with many complicated and complex factors at play. Northern and remote Canadian communities have a special place in her heart and the Animal Food Bank provides hundreds of pallets of food every year to those communities.
No food is wasted because of this program. Learn more here.
We believe in disrupting the sector by promoting collaboration and sharing of resources.