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Animal Food Bank receives boost to support B.C. flood victims

Click to play video: 'Animal Food Bank supported by B.C. pet food company amid floods' Animal Food Bank supported by B.C. pet food company amid floods
It's been a busy year for the Animal Food Bank in the Okanagan and there's no sign of slowing down. Sydney Morton spoke with the founder to find out how they are supporting flood victims' pets who are also missing home – Nov 27, 2021

It’s been a busy year for the Animal Food Bank, from supporting people in need of a little extra help feeding their pets, to helping those in crisis from wildfires and now from the floods

“I never thought that I would say that it would be crazier than the fires but it was 100 times worse,” said Nicole Wilks, Animal Food Bank founder.

“We were dealing with our supply chain being cut off, communities are cut off from access, (and) trying to figure out how to get food.”

Wilks and her team moved fast to make sure that no pet goes hungry with the help of partners like the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (A.L.E.R.T) and Emergency Support Services (E.S.S.) centres. They were able to meet the need immediately.

“The evacuees were sent from the Meritt and surrounding areas were sent to areas that we service ourselves or we help other organizations service,” said Wilks.

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“We saw 1,000 pets come through Kelowna alone in the first wave of evacuations and in addition to that we were supporting other areas like Meritt, Cache Creek, Lytton and Logan Lake so it was just coming at us from all angles.”

Read more: Food Bank Friday — Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank clients increasing

That support was given an extra boost from the team behind Petcurean, a Chilliwack-based pet food company that donated enough cat and dog food for 7,000 meals to the Animal Food Bank.

“They really, really went above and beyond to secure us 2,200 pounds of food in a Calgary warehouse that ACE (Courrier Services) then shipped in for us for free, so it was amazing,” said Wilks.

Read more: Princeton prepares for next atmospheric river as Canadian Forces members fill thousands of sandbags

The team behind Petcurean also donated 11,431 more meals across the province in areas devastated by the floods.

“I saw the devastation and the heartbreak that was happening, immediately jumped into action and I knew that we had to support our local communities because this was happening in our backyard,” said Christine Mallier, Petcurean sustainability and community relations manager.

Read more: Princeton prepares for next atmospheric river as Canadian Forces members fill thousands of sandbags

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While managing the growing need for supplies, the Animal Food Bank now has to replenish its stock to continue providing aid. On Dec. 1 it is launching two fundraisers to help pets through the holiday season. For more information on how you can help, visit the Animal Food Bank’s website.

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