We team up with Foodbanks in Lancashire to provide pet food for families in crisis

We team up with Foodbanks in Lancashire to provide pet food for families in crisis

We've teamed up with Foodbanks across Lancashire to provide vulnerable owners with food for their pets.

Maundy Relief Accrington © RSPCA

Since March, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit people's finances hard whether through redundancies, long-term furlough, or a local business struggling to make ends meet. We know that more people are turning to Foodbanks for support but up until recently, there wasn't much provision for pet food in the Lancashire area, as the services understandably had to prioritise human food.

Our deputy chief inspector Alison Fletcher, who works in Lancashire, decided to change that and make sure that loving owners who were struggling to buy pet food could get access to the food their pets need. She wanted to make sure owners and pets can stay together through these unprecedented times.

Alison said:

We know that pets have become a real source of comfort for people during the pandemic. They really do become a member of our families and I'd heard stories of people who had chosen to buy pet food over a meal for themselves, or families who felt they had no choice but to give up their much loved pet. Sadly, the Coronavirus pandemic has put a real strain on people¿s finances and we have seen an increase in families being unable to afford to provide for their pets.

As an RSPCA inspector, the last thing I want to do is remove a pet from a loving home. By providing pet food through the Foodbanks we hope that we can make sure families and their pets can stay together. Not only does this benefit the health of the animal by making sure they are getting the right diet but by keeping them together we hope we can also help to improve the wellbeing of their owners.

Six Foodbanks offering pet food so far

Alison explained that our inspectors will provide pet food to those who are struggling on a case by case basis but there was nothing formal in place where owners could turn to. Now our officers can refer families in crisis to one of six Foodbanks across the county.

Pet Foodbanks include:

  • Maundy Relief in Accrington
  • Burnley Together Valley Community Centre
  • Morecambe Bay Foodbank
  • Ribble Valley Foodbank
  • Ormskirk Foodbank
  • Blackburn Foodbank

More are hoped to be added to the list soon.

Donated food to help pet owners throughout and after Xmas

Last week, Alison, who has recently been appointed as our Pet Foodbank Coordinator, was able to deliver eight vans worth of pet food (around 1,500kgs!) to the Foodbanks which will be enough to help owners until after the Christmas period.

The pet food has been donated by kind members of the public through our branches:

  • Wigan
  • Leigh and District branch
  • Lancashire East
  • Southport
  • Ormskirk and District branch
  • Preston and District branch
  • Blackpool and North Lancs branch

Alison added:

Our fantastic supporters have really come through for us on this. The branches received lots of donations of pet food for the animals in their care and they were able to donate any leftovers to the foodbank project. It's fantastic what we can do when we all pull together and I'm so pleased that we've been able to get this project off the ground and help pet owners across Lancashire.

Donating just £25 could help keep our Animal Rescue Teams on the road. This winter, the RSPCA expects to rescue thousands of animals from neglect, cruelty and suffering. To help our rescue teams reach the thousands of animals who desperately need us, #JoinTheRescue.