ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Amidst a challenging time for seniors across the country, Meals on Wheels America is proud to announce that the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant program, supported by PetSmart Charities, has distributed $354,500 in grants to support senior nutrition program pet services nationwide. Funding will be used to provide food, supplies and improved access to care for the pets of Meals on Wheels clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for older adults to manage on their own.
This three-year partnership with PetSmart Charities is part of Meals on Wheels America’s strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country, ensuring that seniors and their animal companions receive the care they need to age in place together. This year, Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities awarded grants to 98 local Meals on Wheels programs through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative to ensure seniors and their animal companions can live happy, healthy lives together.
Pets are especially important for the 58% of Meals on Wheels clients who live alone, providing a consistent source of comfort. With nearly 7 million seniors living at or below the poverty line, many find it difficult to care for a pet, and will often feed their pet before they feed themselves.
“The companionship a pet offers enhances the physical and mental health and well-being of homebound seniors, which is particularly valuable as so many older adults are feeling even more lonely and isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “We’re grateful for PetSmart Charities’ ongoing support, which has allowed us to invest Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grants in more local Meals on Wheels programs than ever before. This support will enable programs in 33 states to provide pet supplies and care to local seniors, making it more feasible for seniors to remain safe and healthy at home with their beloved companions during this public health emergency and beyond.”
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting almost $430 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.
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