Coming around the corner, I heard the sound of excited voices. A large cart full of bags, a group of people trying to figure out the system and many smiling faces greeted me.
Someone wheeled a cart with an assortment of dog and cat food. You may ask, “What? Dog and cat food?”
What does dog and cat food have to do with Meals on Wheels? The Reier Group had been delivering Meals on Wheels meals for about one year. One of the group noticed how many of those they delivered to had pets. They wondered how these pets were fed and if these companions to the elderly were sharing the Meals on Wheels meals. The answer, “Yes, until Ani-Meals.”
Ani-Meals was started by CES to feed the companions of the seniors on the Meals on Wheels routes so that the dogs and cats would be fed and the seniors would eat all of their delivered meals.
Enter the Reier Group: When the Reier Group heard about the Ani-meals program, excitement built. Several of the group had ties to and interest in animal humane organizations. What better way than to get involved in the Ani-Meals program. As the word spread, the group teamed up with their internal “McGhees Deli” to begin collecting dog and cat food for the Meals on Wheels recipients so their companions wouldn’t go hungry. The result: 172 pounds of pet food!
How has this impacted the group? The participation and excitement has spread because as they deliver Meals on Wheels meals, they are also contributing to the success of the recipient. If there isn’t enough food for the pets, the health of the individual suffers. “This is an interesting blend of helping humanity by feeding the person and their companions since they both need each other. In some ways, Ani-Meals is survival food.” So much interest has taken place that the group brings pet food each month, started a “Go Fund Me Page” and are looking for ways to do more for the pets and their companions.