ARLINGTON, VA., Feb. 16, 2023 - PetSmart Charities®, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, has renewed a commitment of $3 million to fund a second, three-year partnership with Meals on Wheels America, the national leadership organization supporting community-based programs dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This three-year grant will continue to support new and existing pet assistance services, including pet food deliveries, access to veterinary care, and other critical services, for pet-owning older adults.
Pets provide vital social connections for many older adults and can have a significant positive impact on their physical and mental health and well-being. Yet, caring for a pet may also present other challenges, particularly for those with limited mobility and/or financial constraints, leading local Meals on Wheels programs to offer services to ease those challenges and help older adults and their pets stay together. A study released released by Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities found that more than one in five clients reported going without food to feed their pets in the past two years.
"This meaningful partnership has made an incredible impact,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “For many older people, pets are their only consistent source of companionship. Their loyal presence eases feelings of isolation and can help improve physical and emotional wellness. We’re proud to support these innovative programs in collaboration with Meals on Wheels America, ensuring the critical needs of both people and pets are met.”
This commitment is a continuation of a three-year partnership that distributed more than 380 grants to local Meals on Wheels programs to support older adults and their pets, funded critical research, and supported the development of key resources to expand pet programming between 2020-2022. Through the support of this partnership, more than 25,000 older adults and 41,000 pets were served. Last year, Meals on Wheels America found that 97% of clients agreed that pet programming helps them keep their pet.
“PetSmart Charities’ sustained support of Meals on Wheels helps preserve the extraordinary relationships many homebound seniors have with their furry companions by removing some of the common barriers they face to pet ownership,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America.
For more information on Meals on Wheels America, please visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org. For more information on PetSmart Charities and how grants are making an impact across North America, please visit www.petsmartcharities.org.
ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves 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.
ABOUT PETSMART CHARITIES®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting nearly $430 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.