Food Stamps for Pets?
The federal Food Stamp program provides families with low income to purchase food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that included about 46.6 million people in 2012. What about their pets?
A new program called Pet Food Stamps provides free monthly home delivery of pet food and other necessary pet supplies to owners receiving food stamps or who are below the poverty line. The program’s founder and executive director, Marc Okon, says that more than 45,000 pets were signed into the donation-based program in just the past two weeks.
“We’re not looking for government funding at this point,” Okon told ABCNews.com. “Should the government be willing to provide assistance further down the line, we will look into it.”
Once a family is approved for funding by Pet Food Stamps, they will receive food for their pets for six months. Food will come from the pet food retailer, Pet Food Direct. The program is geared towards cats and dogs, but some other small animals may be accomodated.
A statement from Pet Food Stamps:
“The Pet Food Stamps program has been created to fill the void in the United States Food Stamp program which excludes the purchase of pet food and pet supplies. In these rough economic times, many pet owners are forced to abandon their beloved pet to the ASPCA, North Shore Animal League or other animal shelters due to the inability to pay for their basic food supply and care. There are over 50 million Americans who currently receive Food Stamps, many with dogs or cats, who simply cannot afford to feed their animals, and these cherished companions are dropped off at animal shelters where they will most likely be put to sleep.” It continues, “The Pet Food Stamps program, due to the generosity of contributors and patrons, are able to eliminate that heart-wrenching decision by making sure these pet owners are given free monthly home delivery of all necessary food supplies to maintain the health and vitality of their pets.”