MUSCATINE, Iowa–When times get tough, Muscatine has traditionally had many services available to help people get back on their feet. However, For Pets’ Sake Founder Beth Van Zandt realized that for people with pets, access to food for them could prove challenging. To help people in need, she started the Supplemental Pet Food Pantry five years ago. Since that time, the program has grown and thrived. Today it serves an average of 75 families each month. In January, Van Zandt announced the Supplemental Pet Food Pantry will move to the third Wednesday of the month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the corners of Fourth and Sycamore Streets in downtown Muscatine.
Each month, the Supplemental Pet Food Pantry provides a variety of items to benefit pet owners in need. Dog owners may receive a supply of dog food, and cat owners may receive both a supply of cat food and litter. People may receive supplies for as many pets as they already have, not take additional to help feed a new pet they do not currently have.
Though the Supplemental Pet Food Pantry provides food and litter to augment what a pet owner purchases, not enough for an entire month, Van Zandt has found that providing this assistance helps people in need free up more money to help take care of other necessities. “With the rising food prices and everything, we have a lot of older people who may be choosing between feeding their pets and feeding themselves, and that’s where we come in,” she explained.
Because of supply chain issues and the need to donate food to full animal shelters, For Pets’ Sake has recently stopped receiving the corporate food donations they previously got. For this reason, they need donations more than ever to ensure that everyone who needs supplemental pet food can get it. For Pets’ Sake especially appreciates donations of Purina One cat and dog food. However, they will accept any brands of pet food except for the kinds that have added dyes in them. People may drop off donations of food either to Zoomies (formerly Happy Tails) at 720 Clay Street in Muscatine or at Becky’s Bow Wow Boutique 1512 Isett Avenue in Muscatine during either business’ open hours. KENT Pet Group continues to provide generous donations of World’s Best Cat Litter for For Pets’ Sake to distribute.
With For Pets’ Sake giving out approximately 400 pounds each of dog food, cat food, and cat litter every year, Van Zandt feels pleased that the Supplemental Pet Food Pantry keeps making a positive difference in the community. She hopes that its continued operation on the third Wednesday of the month from 9 to 11 a.m. will continue to help people keep their animals at home and not have to surrender them to animal shelters or rescues. “If I can help them hold onto their animals, that’s a good feeling,” she said. “It’s not the animals’ fault if their people fall on hard times.”