The project has expanded into Greater Manchester, parts of Yorkshire and Northumbria
The RSPCA’s foodbank project is expanding into further areas of the North of England with the scheme able to help pet owners who are struggling to pay for pet food.
In November (2020) Deputy Chief Inspector Alison Fletcher, who works in Lancashire, decided to link-up with food banks in the area to provide them with pet food for owners who were struggling to make ends meet. Starting with five areas across Lancashire, the scheme has now been rolled out across 35 different food banks across Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Northumbria and four in Greater Manchester.
Alison said: “We have been keen to expand this project even further to help even more pet owners who are struggling to make ends meet due to the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“This scheme is aimed at helping people in crisis by providing them with pet food to make sure they can continue to care for their pets even when times are hard.”
As well as providing pet food, the RSPCA inspectors can also refer those who are struggling to the food bank so they can get food for themselves and any extra support they may need.
Since March, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit people’s finances hard whether through redundancies, long-term furlough, or a local business struggling to make ends meet. The RSPCA knows that more people are turning to food banks for support but up until recently there wasn’t much provision for pet food in the North, as the services understandably had to prioritise human food.
The pet food has been donated by kind members of the public through the charity’s branches to feed the animals in their care and any leftovers have been donated to the foodbank project. There have also been generous donations from pet food brands Purina and Hills.
Alison said: “We’re so thrilled with the progress being made in other areas and are really keen to expand our support for pet owners in Greater Manchester even further. So far we have four food banks in the Manchester area sign up to the scheme and hope to link up with even more in the coming weeks and months ahead.
“Over the last six months, we’ve been able to see the positive impact the scheme has had on pet owners in the north. By helping to provide pet food it means that owners can stay with their much-loved pet whilst they get back on their feet again.”
For more information contact your local branch who can put you in touch with the food bank liaison officer.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.