As the COVID-19 pandemic raged over the last year, the Friends of BCAS saw that our human friends and their furry companions needed help. Many county residents are struggling financially; some have found it difficult to feed themselves, let alone their cherished pets.
Since larger food banks do not supply pet food to the local food pantries, the Friends of BCAS established a pet food donation program, supporting four county food banks. Initially, the Friends of BCAS board of directors approved $5,000 for food purchases. Since so many generous donors asked how they could help, we were able to create an emergency relief fund as well. We launched a matching campaign, which exceeded our goal; donations to this fund were used to purchase additional pet food for these food banks. At the end of 2020, the need was still dire, so the board approved another $5,000 and we again launched a matching campaign that exceeded our goals. Thanks to caring and generous donors, these campaigns raised more than $12,000 to help feed pets.
Given the ongoing need, our group continues to purchase pet food. Volunteers parcel it into smaller bags and deliver it to pantries on a weekly basis. Along with monetary donations, community members also have given their time.
We purchase dry food from our valued partner, Jay DeMore of Tractor Supply Company in Southampton. DeMore went above and beyond by personally delivering the food to our bagging locations on his own time. Likewise, the students from the Transition Services Job Development Program within the Lenape Regional High School District have been instrumental in supporting the Pet Food Pantry project. They bag, label, and load the dry cat and dog food so that it can be transported to the pantries.
We are grateful for our donors and community volunteers. In 2021, the Friends of BCAS will continue helping our friends so we get through this crisis together.
If you’re a pet owner who has been financially affected by the pandemic, or if you know someone who is, free pet food is available at the locations below. Please contact each food pantry directly for hours and with any questions.
- Oaks Integrated Care
770 Woodlane Road, Suite 16
- SVDP Sacred Heart
260 High St.
- Christian Caring Center
378 Lakehurst Road
- BT Food Pantry
1200 Route 130
- Humanity First
500 Bridge Street
Willingboro (Al-Nasr Mosque)