- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Many seniors, low-income families and disabled residents rely on InterServ’s Meals on Wheels program and its food pantry for meal assistance. Sometimes, their furry relatives need food assistance as well.

Nestlè Purina donates dog and cat food to the InterServ food pantry for its consumers who have pets. Dave Howery, InterServ director, said it’s another way the organization supports its clients.

“Here’s another way to help supplement that person’s income so they don’t have to spend as much money on pet food and/or get into that dilemma of sharing their food when they don’t need to,” Mr. Howery said. “It’s an important service.”

Becky Courtney, food pantry manager at InterServ’s Calvin Center, said once a year Nestlè Purina delivers a truckload of dog or cat food for people who come in for food orders and have pets. The company also provides gift bags of dog food for InterServ to distribute to its clients at Christmas.

Mrs. Courtney said it is a healthier alternative to table scraps.

“It’s not really healthy for pets to eat table scraps, so in order for them to stay healthy — people want to keep their pets healthy because they are like part of the family — they want that good food that Purina has to offer,” she said. “So they’re always happy to get that.”

Many communities around the country have Meals on Wheels programs that deliver pet food along with client meals. The organization teams up with animal and pet groups to provide the service.

Meals on Wheels in San Diego partnered with Helen Woodward Animal Center 15 years ago to provide pet food drop off for clients, according to a recent CBS.com article. The Banfield Charitable Trust in Oregon also provides assistance to groups and shelters that offer pet food programs nationwide.

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