NORMAN — Meals on Wheels Animeals Program Helps Furry
Meals on Wheels of Norman strives to meet the needs of its senior and disabled meal recipients beyond the delivery of the daily nutritious meal through the Animeals Pet Food Program.
The Animeals Pet Food Program began in 2004 when volunteers brought it to the Meals on Wheels staff’s attention that many clients were sharing their noontime meals with their pets each day because they simply could not afford to purchase cat or dog food or did not have the ability to leave the house to purchase it.
The Animeals Pet Food Program relies on donated cat and dog food, as well as monetary donations designated specifically to the Animeals Program to purchase cat and dog food that is then distributed to Meals on Wheels clients in need.
Lynn Haynes, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Norman, said the pet food delivery has had an astounding impact on pets’ health, as well as relieving worry and anxiety of pet food costs for clients.
“We are so appreciative of the continued support of Wright’s IGA in helping to provide a need to our seniors,” Haynes said. “Several meal recipients have reported that their pets have appeared to have more energy and a more positive demeanor as a result of the change to the Purina Be Happy dog and cat food.”
Through the help of a recent grant provided by Banfield Charitable Trust, Meals on Wheels worked with Kurt McGuire of Nestle and Larry Wright of Wright’s IGA who helped Meals on Wheels purchase 576 four-pound bags of Nestle Purina Be Happy dog and cat food at a discounted price for clients.
The smaller bags prove to be convenient for volunteers to deliver to clients along with their daily meals.
“The Animeals Pet Food Program is a perfect example of our vision to be more than a meal to our clients,” Haynes said. “By providing pet food to those in need, we are helping to alleviate the concern of purchasing pet food over needed medication for many of our clients.
“Many clients call on a regular basis when they are in need of more pet food. It is our hope that with the support of the community and grants, we can continue this program for many years to come.”
For more information about the Meals on Wheels of Norman Animeals Pet Food Program, visit the Meals on Wheels website, www.mealsonwheelsnorman.
Monetary donations for the Animeals Program may be mailed to Meals on Wheels of Norman, P.O. Box 1371, Norman, OK 73070.
Donations also may be made online by visiting the Meals on Wheels of Norman website. Donors are asked to indicate “Animeals Program” in the subject line of the check or comment box through online payment.
Meals on Wheels of Norman delivers noontime nutritious meals to the ill, disabled and increase in the number of clients they serve, reaching more than 300 clients per day.
Over the past year, the organization has seen that a significant two-third of the clients can only afford $1 per meal or cannot afford to pay at all. Meals on Wheels pays an average amount of $20,000 per month for food costs alone.
Programs such as the Animeals Pet Food Program assist the organization in providing additional resources to clients to alleviate worry and concern in other aspects of their lives.