The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused food insecurity in many households due to the economic shutdown and unemployment numbers soaring. As the need for food pantries increased, family pets also suffered as their owners struggled to put food in their bowls, too.
The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons is launching a Pet Food Pantry at its facility in Wainscott in an effort to keep pets in their homes and ease the burden on families hit by the financial crisis. It will kick-start its pantry with a food drive at the Adoption Center on Daniels Hole Road on Saturday, July 11, from 12 to 3 p.m.
Unopened dry and wet food, as well as treats, for cats and dogs will be accepted.
Due to space and staff limitation, ARF cannot accept donations on other days, but July 11. More drop-off dates will be held on a monthly basis through the fall.
Families in need will be encouraged to pick up from the Pet Food Pantry at the ARF Adoption Center on Saturday, July 18, from 12 to 3 p.m. Recipients will only be asked how many cats and dogs are in the household in order to supply enough food until the next distribution date. Pet food will also be distributed monthly through the fall, as long as supplies last.
ARF held a one-day pet food drive back in April, which left two cargo vans full of cat and dog food in just a few hours. “All the food collected on that one day has since been distributed to the East Hampton, Montauk and Sag Harbor Food Pantries,” ARF said.
“ARF has elected to oversee the distribution of donations in order to expand the reach of the program to all residents of the Town of East Hampton and spare local food pantries the burden of transport and storage,” the announcement read.