Since 2008, we’ve been honored to help local cat owners feed their beloved feline companions. Once monthly, our Cat Food Bank provided free cat food to qualified cat owners still struggling with this poor economy.
The Cat Food Bank’s goal has always been to provide a temporary resource for struggling cat owners. The food we hand out is donated by the animal lovers of this community. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a dramatic drop in the amount of donated food and a decrease in the number of cat owners requesting assistance through our food bank.
After the July 14, 2013, food bank distribution day, the Cat Adoption Team will be closing the public/walk-in food bank operation at the shelter.
At this stage, we believe we can have the greatest impact by targeting the Cat Food Bank’s limited resources toward cat owners with the least access to cat food. After July 14, CAT’s food bank will focus solely on its partnership with Washington County Meals on Wheels and Senior Centers to provide food to qualified seniors participating in that program.
We did not make this decision lightly because we knew it would impact cat owners in our area. The resources page has a list of other pet food banks and places that provide some food assistance to pet owners.
Your donations are still needed and appreciated to help support partnership with Meals on Wheels.
In June 2008, we opened the first organized pet food bank in the Portland area. After reading news accounts that pets were starting to be relinquished to shelters at an alarming rate, we wanted to do our part to help pet owners keep their pets. The goal was to provide temporary assistance so cat owners could get through their financial crisis.
With no idea what to expect, and very few examples of successful pet food banks across the country, we launched a program that has become a lifeline for struggling cat owners and a model for many other food banks around Portland and beyond.
On June 1, 2008, we opened our doors and handed out 375 pounds of cat food to help 16 families feed 45 pet cats.
By the end of 2008, 3,700 pounds of dry cat food had been distributed. What makes that so amazing, as we look back, is that we handed out 3,754 pounds in February 2012 along (as of May 2013, the food bank has handed out 142,449 pounds of dry cat food and 36,624 cans of wet cat food since opening our doors).
In September 2009, we forged a unique partnership with Washington County Loaves & Fishes, which operates the county-wide Meals on Wheels programs, to provide cat food for their home-bound cat-loving seniors. Currently, the Cat Food Bank provides cat food for clients through the Beaverton and Forest Grove Centers. The Hillsboro Senior Center sends representatives to pick up food for their clients.
The need had grown over 1,100 percent in four years. As the food bank entered its fifth year, we are finally seeing a slowdown in the need and volume of food being handed out.
The Cat Food Bank is 100 percent donation driven. All the bags and cans of cat food handed out are donated at CAT or dropped off at one of our many donation drop off locations. Supporters of the Cat Food Bank can also make cash donations directly to the food fund. This money is used to purchase cat food, at a reduced cost, to keep the pantry shelves full.
And it’s not just cat food. We offer behavior information, answer questions, and provide resources for low-cost spay/neuter, as all cats fed through the Cat Food Bank must be spayed/neutered.