For decades, the Solanco Food Bank has been providing food for people in the Southern End.
Now a partnership with the Humane League of Lancaster County allows the food bank to help pets as well.
The food is provided by the league's Spike's Pet Pantry, a pet food bank program to help owners in need.
The program's primary goal is to allow the people to keep their pets rather than surrender them because the owners cannot afford to feed the animals, said Lindsay High, the Humane League's director of marketing.
"When hard times lead good pet owners to make the decision to feed their pet or feed their family, Humane Pennsylvania’s Spike’s Pet Pantry is there to make that decision a little easier," High wrote in a press release.
The program will aid the food bank's clients, said Teresa Dolan, director of Solanco Neighborhood Ministries.
"Many individuals are struggling financially and find it difficult to purchase pet food. Also, for many elderly folks on a tight budget, their pets are their only companions," Dolan said. "We know that pets can be expensive, but we also know they are often considered part of the family. We are glad to be able to partner with the Humane League of Lancaster County to meet this need and to ease individuals' worry and financial burden.”
The program is totally funded through the Humane League. The local ministry is not providing either food or financial support.
The outreach will only have food for dogs and cats. There will not be food for other pets.
The first day for the new service will be Saturday, July 6. The pet food will be available from 10 a.m. to noon to people who are already food bank clients. Clients must make arrangements in advance to pick up the pet food.
The service will be available the first Saturday of each month.
Donations to the program must be made through the Humane League's site in Lancaster. Pet food donations will not be accepted at the Solanco Food Bank.