Ani-Meals: How Meals on Wheels in Minneapolis is Serving Hungry Pets, Too

Photo Credit: Sean Dreilinger via Flickr

In addition to being at risk of hunger, many of the individuals served by Meals on Wheels (MOW) spend most of their time in relative isolation. Four-legged family members can help with loneliness, but they need to eat too — and feeding them properly adds an additional financial burden to their humans. Enter Ani-Meals, a program that helps MOW clients keep their pets healthy, too.

In Minneapolis, Ani-Meals is run by Community Emergency Service (CES). They began their Ani-Meals service in 2015; currently they deliver pet food to nearly 150 area pets each month.

And they need your help. This month, Millennials of Minneapolis is coordinating a pet food drive for Ani-Meals. You can help keep MOW pets healthy by dropping off unopened dog food (especially grain-free dry food) and cat food (we know you’re dog people, but this is much-needed!) to one of the following Minneapolis drop points:

  • Engel & Völkers, attn: Katrina DeWit (near Loring Park, map)
  • Urban Tails Pet Supply (Lyndale location, map)
  • Chuck & Don’s (NE Minneapolis, map)

The deadline for this pet food drive is Wednesday, August 23.

After that, you can still donate food by dropping it off at the CES food shelf weekdays from 8:30am-4:30pm (map). And if you can’t make a food drop but still want to help, Ani-Meals always welcomes donations, too!

Donations can help those like George and his beloved pupper, Turbo. As Melanie LaPointe, MOW volunteer coordinator at CES, relays, “George told me that Turbo had blood in her urine and he was worried because he couldn’t afford to take her to the vet. I put them in touch with a vet who makes house calls; she prescribed special food for two months and updated Turbo’s vaccinations, too. Now Turbo is doing well and doesn’t need special food anymore. George considers her his best friend and he appreciates that we are delivering good-quality food for Turbo.”

LaPointe notes the importance of pets for many seniors: “The companionship of a pet relieves loneliness and improves engagement. Isolated clients’ pets become their security system, their social worker and their depression counselor. Our goal is to keep our clients and their pets happy and healthy.”

Turbo and George ♥

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