Liberty Meals on Wheels benefits pets

Liberty Meals on Wheels board receives a grant to help acquire dog and cat food to help Liberty senior citizens.

LIBERTY — Often, a cat or dog may be a companion to a senior citizen. Along with the daily visits from a Meals on Wheels volunteer, that four-legged friend may be that sole source of comfort.

To help out these animal companions, the Liberty Meals on Wheels now has Liberty Meals on Wheels Loves Pets Too.

Board members Jennifer Funston said the program was implemented in January of this year.

“We got the program started because we don’t want our meal recipients to share their meals,” she said. “We understand when recipients would do this because they love their pets while they are also dealing with restricted funds.”

The board applied for and received a grant that allows for extra funding. To that end, the group has partnered with the Great Plains SPCA.

“They keep a really large pet food pantry,” she said. “They have been able to donate food monthly.”

Funston said much of the food at the pantry comes from Amazon returns.

“The food has been high quality,” she said. “We have been really grateful. It gets bagged up and all we have to do is pick it up.”

Community Services Manager Hailey Kellerstrass said at this point 11 people have benefited from the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets Too program.

“That’s a total of eight dogs and seven cats,” she said. “We have delivered about 600 pounds in our first two deliveries. We will deliver again in May.”

Funston said in the future, the group would like to help out with a cat food drive.

“During the summer, the SPCA needs more cat food,” she said. “They have been such a valuable partner so I think we need to return the favor to them.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.

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