Animal Food Bank receives boost to support B.C. flood victims – Okanagan

It’s been a busy year for the Animal Food Bank, from supporting people in need of a little extra help feeding their pets, to helping those in crisis from bushfires and now floods.

“I never thought I would say it would be crazier than fires, but it was 100 times worse,” said Nicole Wilkes, founder of the Animal Food Bank.

“We’ve been dealing with our own supply chain being cut, communities cut off from access, (and) trying to figure out how to get food.”

Wilkes and her team moved quickly to make sure no pet went hungry with the help of partners such as the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) and the Centers for Emergency Support Services (ESS). They were able to meet the need immediately.

“Evacuees from Merritt and surrounding areas have been sent to areas we serve ourselves or help other organizations serve,” Wilkes said.

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“We saw 1,000 pets come through Kelowna alone in the first wave of evacuations, plus we were supporting other areas like Merritt, Cash Creek, Lytton and Logan Lake, so it was coming at us from all angles.”

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That support got an extra boost from the team behind Petcurean, a Chilliwack-based pet food company that has donated enough cat and dog food for 7,000 meals to an animal food bank.

“They really went to great lengths to secure us 2,200 pounds of food in their Calgary warehouse that ACE (Courier Services) shipped to us for free, so it was great,” Wilkes said.

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The team behind Petcurean also donated an additional 11,431 meals across the county in areas devastated by the floods.

“Seeing the devastation and heartbreak that was happening, I immediately jumped into action and realized we had to support our local communities because this was happening in our backyard,” said Kristen Mallier, Petcurean’s director of sustainability and community relations.

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While managing the growing need for supplies, the Animal Food Bank now has to replenish its stocks to continue providing assistance. On December 1st, it will launch two fundraisers to help pets during the holiday season. For more information on how to help, visit the Animal Food Bank website.

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