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. We are committed to helping ensure that no pets go hungry and are able to remain in their loving homes this Christmas.
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.
Discovering that this particular foodbank, which 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) was in dire need of pet food stock, our Projects Manager, Olivia, recently visited their warehouse and spoke with Project Lead Elizabeth Maytom.
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.
Ideally for Christmas and during the difficult months of January and February, Elizabeth 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 is super keen to do 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.
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.