The Trussell Trust’s UK-wide network distributed 1.3 million food parcels to people facing hardship during April to September 2022 – an increase of 52% compared to the same period in 2019. The number of pets in UK households is estimated to have risen from 9 million in 2019 to around 12 million in 2021. The RSPCA have dealt with 13,159 abandonments and 30,500 cases of neglect to the end of October this year.
Our findings have led us to understand that there is a gap of pet foodbank support in London and the south of England. Pet food isn’t always listed to foodbank clients as being available; some people can also be reluctant to ask for help to feed their pets and instead share their human food allocation with them. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the well-being of all family pets; so we’re stepping in to help ensure that this desperately needed resource is in place for those who are struggling to feed their pets during this crisis.
Norwood and Brixton foodbank serves the Lambeth and Croydon boroughs of London and is currently dispatching around 1,000 food boxes per month (of which around 100 include pet food), and is in dire need of pet food stock.
Boxes containing enough food for 3 meals across 3 days for all members of each household are picked, packed and dispatched to clients’ doorsteps from this warehouse. At the moment, support for family pets is more about what food donations they might have to hand to add to a box, rather than being able to provide what each pet needs.
Our team have visited both the warehouse and also an associated community hub, speaking with Project Lead Elizabeth Maytom and Hub Manager Mona Boateng.
For Christmas and during the difficult coming months of January and February, this foodbank would love to be able to provide separate pet boxes (at around £10 in value) containing enough food for 2 meals per day for 3 days, plus some extra dry food, dentals chews, treats, and perhaps a small toy. A dog owner herself, Elizabeth will be doing everything she can to prevent pet owners from being in a position of having to give up their beloved companions as a result of the cost-of-living crisis; and we are committed to supporting this initiative to help ensure that no pets go hungry and are able to remain in their loving homes.
Waggel have very generously sponsored Wild at Heart Foundation’s Pet Foodbank initiative, allowing us to reach dog owners who are struggling to feed their dogs due to the current cost of living crisis in the UK. By providing dog food to be distributed at foodbanks, Waggel’s support will help keep dogs and their owners together, at a time when there has been an alarming increase in people having to surrender their dogs due to rising costs.
Ross Fretten, Co-Founder of Waggel – “We hope our donation will allow people to continue to support the livelihood of their pets without feeling ashamed for seeking help during this difficult time. In difficult times, many of us find ourselves sacrificing our own quality of life so that we can continue to provide for our pets. The unfortunate reality is that right now so many families aren’t able to provide for themselves or their pets. That’s why we’re so grateful to food banks for helping people in need and partnering with Wild at Heart Foundation to provide additional help to families and people with pets.”
If a regular donation towards a specific project is set up and we subsequently cease to provide support in the future, any recurring donations will be allocated to the areas of our other work requiring the most support.