The Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City Interview

Being inspired by the work of many local non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and their contribution to our society, Choice Solutions Roofing and Exteriors, local roofers from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma would like to help them somehow. Therefore, we will be taking short interviews with non-profits to inform local people about their existence and work.

The following interview was taken with The Pet Food Pantry of OKC, an organization which helps in providing pet food to our low-income senior inhabitants. Grab a few minutes of your time and read about their motivation, plans, but also struggles.

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Introduction
To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization
The Pet Food Pantry of OKC was founded in June 2010 to provide pet food to low-income seniors. Today we provide pet food and supplies to low-income seniors, veterans, homeless and domestic violence victims.

1. What do you do exactly?
And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
I had been providing pet food on my own to a local mission who had a therapy dog onsite for the men who lived there. A friend of mine received a large donation of canned dog food for her rescue and asked if I might know someone who could use part of it. Through some networking I found an organization that served breakfast and lunch to low-income senior citizens. I asked if any of their seniors could use the pet food. I found out these seniors played bingo while they were there and if they won, they could select an item from either the food pantry or clothing closet. When they found out there was pet food, they asked if they could have that for their prize instead of their own food or clothes. That turned into my providing pet food to 25 seniors each month. Today, we serve over 250 low-income seniors, veterans and homeless – approximately 625 pets each month! Our newest project is helping domestic violence shelters across the state add dog runs/cat condos to their facilities so those fleeing from domestic violence situations can take their pet with them. We will provide the pet food and supplies for each of these domestic violence shelters.

 

2. What motivates you?
Describe your mission passion
Helping people with their pets! What started as helping people feed their pets has turned into an opportunity to them in other ways. Low-income seniors, veterans, and homeless struggle to provide food and medical needs for themselves. Those with pets have an added burden of feeding their companion. We make a difference in the lives of these people by providing them free pet food and supplies each month so they can focus obtaining their own food and medical needs. In addition, we help them locate other resources for themselves such as food pantries and low-cost medical service as well as services for their pets. Route drivers deliver pet food and supplies to homes of seniors and veterans each month and to homeless camps twice a month. We serve over 250 people each month in the Central Oklahoma area. It may just be pet food and supplies – but it’s more than that. These pets are family. We help bridge a gap so they can feed their pet and have money left over to purchase their own food and medical supplies.

3. Tell us about your goals
1. That no pet has to go hungry.
2. That no pet parent has to give up their pet because they can’t afford to take care of it.
3. That no person has to go without food because they gave what they had to their pet.
4. That no person has to stay in a domestic violence situation because there is no place to go with their pet.

4. What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with?
Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
Being worried we won’t have enough money to provide pet food to these people. We don’t just provide pet food to them a few times a year. We deliver every month to their home – and will continue to do that until their pet passes.

 

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5. What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
Explaining to these people if they will let me provide them pet food and supplies, they will have extra money to purchase their own food and medical needs. Sharing with them other resources like food pantries they can go to for their own food. Providing resources for their pet such as low-cost vaccination clinics.

6. What separates you from the rest? Why you?
We deliver pet food and supplies to their homes. This allows us to check in on the pet and the pet parent. Sometimes we are the only person who comes to see them. Why us? Because it’s needed. Because it’s the right thing to do.

7. Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
Our events slow down this time of year but we are very busy with all the wonderful donations coming in for the holidays. Our events will start back after the first of the year.

8. What is it that you love most about what you do?
Talking with those we serve about their pets. Knowing we are making a difference for them. Knowing they don’t have to worry about providing food for their pet or worse – having to re-home their pet.

9. What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
We have two part-time warehouse employees. The rest of us are volunteers. For me the biggest challenge is working a 40+ hour a week paying job and running the Pet Food Pantry in the evenings and weekends – but it is my passion.

10. Anything else you would like to add?
Never underestimate the bond between a person and their pet.
Contact: How can people reach out to you?
Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your website and social media
The Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City – Central Oklahoma’s Food Bank for Pets.
405-664-2858
P.O. Box 57678 – OKC, OK 73114
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Thank you for reading this interview from all of us from Choice Solutions Roofing and Exteriors, your top local roof replacement company from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!