Press release: PetSmart Charities
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic nearly one in four households across the United States were facing food insecurity, and according to Feeding America, in 2020, more than 50 million people in America may have faced hunger because of the pandemic. Despite the national attention to food insecurity, pet food insecurity is another crisis that looms beneath the surface.
As more people have turned to food pantries and other charitable organizations to help feed their families, wait times can be hours long and resources can be stretched to their limits, forcing many people to go home empty-handed. In many instances, pet parents who are battling food insecurity are then faced with the possibility of rehoming or relinquishing their pets to animal shelters because they cannot afford to feed them.
To help address this crisis, PetSmart Charities, the foremost funder in animal welfare has committed $10 million to combating pet food insecurity, beginning in 2021, with an ongoing partnership with Feeding America. Pet food donated by PetSmart Charities throughout 2021 will help enable the Feeding America network of food distribution partners across the country and will help directly impact the quality of life for pets currently in homes affected by financial hardship.
“Food insecurity is at an all-time high for families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and historically we’ve seen many stories about pet parents in need who sacrifice to feed their pets before they feed themselves,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president at PetSmart Charities. “We are proud to make this commitment to provide much-needed pet food to families across the U.S., ultimately helping keep pets and people together during this challenging time.”
PetSmart Charities has also kicked off its donation drive in PetSmart stores and online at the Petsmart Charities website to encourage customer donations to help combat food insecurity and other needs to further the goal of keeping people and pets together.
“PetSmart Charities’ contribution is an invaluable resource for families and their pets facing hunger,” said Blake Thompson, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Feeding America. “We’re grateful for their generous support, and for joining us on our mission to help provide for our neighbors.”
PetSmart Charities is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to nonprofits aligned with its mission. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting nearly $430 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization.