The Animal Food Bank is busier than ever.
The West Kelowna-based organization has been rapidly growing for the last two years and the pandemic has only amplified that.
“We went from 30 requests a month to 60 in December,” said Nicole Wilks, Animal Food Bank founder. “(We have) 40 (requests) already for February so I suspect we will be at 80 and I expect that need to keep going.”
The Animal Food Bank has teamed up with human food banks across the Okanagan as well as the BCSPCA Okanagan branches and other animal sanctuaries to help its clients feed their pets. Now it needs more help than ever, as demand is increasing with no plateau in sight.
“We have about five drivers right now and it’s not enough,” said Wilks. “So we are desperate for drivers.”
Wilks said that volunteers can perform deliveries on their own time within seven days of picking up or having the pet food and supplies dropped off to them by another volunteer.
All monetary donations go to pet food and supplies and Wilks is able to make every dollar donated go further with discounts at pet supply stores across the valley.
Due to the growing demand, the Animal Food Bank is expanding its services again — this time with a membership program, a small monthly fee that will help support the organization and keep it running.
“People can sign up and every month they will get exclusive deals and discounts based on where they live, where they shop and brands they use,” said Wilks.
“That will enable us to launch a vet care program, sponsor pets to be spayed and neutered, help rescues that aren’t charities… there’s a whole bunch of ideas of what we can do with that money.”
The membership program will also aid in hiring a few employees to help their expansion be successful. The membership program launches in April. For information about how to donate or sign up for the membership, visit animalfoodbank.org
The Animal Food Bank helps families feed their pets in three different provinces, B.C., Alberta and Manitoba.