CRITICAL PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE ITS LEGACY OF KEEPING PETS AND THEIR HOMEBOUND SENIORS TOGETHER
Alexandria, VA, October 1, 2015 – Meals on Wheels America today announced that its longstanding partner Banfield Charitable Trust (BCT) will be handing off the administration of its popular Meals on Wheels Pet Assistance Grant program to Meals on Wheels America. As part of the transition, BCT will provide Meals on Wheels America with the appropriate resources to fund the program and its growth for years to come.
Since 2007, BCT’s Pet Assistance Grant program has distributed more than $1.8 million in funding and pet food donations to nearly 300 local Meals on Wheels programs across the nation that are working to keep pets and their homebound seniors together.
“There’s no doubt that pets play an important role in healthy aging,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “We also know that accessing food for a beloved pet can be just as difficult as accessing food for yourself when you’re homebound. The Pet Assistance Grant program will continue to enable local Meals on Wheels programs to start or grow pet food programs that will deliver nourishment to not only their senior clients, but to the pets that bring joy and purpose to their lives.”
After recognizing the growing need to help struggling pet families, BCT was established by Banfield Pet Hospital (Banfield) leadership in 2002. From its inception, Banfield has been a close partner and major supporter of BCT’s mission and has helped to facilitate contributions by hospital associates, clients and the general public. BCT has been able to provide funding to other nonprofit organizations, such as Meals on Wheels, in communities across the country to help with the cost of pet care and veterinary service for seniors with pets in need.
“BCT has recognized Meals on Wheels America's commitment to programs and education that support independent seniors and their pets,” said Jim Cleary, Chairman of the Board, BCT. “We have full faith in Meals on Wheels America and its staff's ability to expand the program, as well as its presence in, and contribution to, the pet care and nutrition market.”
The management of all active Pet Assistance Grants has officially been transferred to Meals on Wheels America and a new grant cycle will begin in spring of 2016. For more information, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/petassistance.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.