Feeding The Elderly And Their Pets

by Elisa Black
(USA)

While the rest of the world is falling apart around us, I decided to find more good news for cat lovers! Today I want to talk about a plan being used in several areas of the United States involving the elderly and their pets. Some organizations simply supply food to people having a hard time providing food for their pets. I spread this good news in the hope that others can implement a similar plan where they live.

I realize my readers from other countries may never have heard of Meals on Wheels. This is a 41 year old United States organization that is based on “neighbor helping neighbor” to combat hunger. Most of their clients are the elderly home bound who are unable financially or physically to prepare their meals. Meals on Wheels is made up of volunteers who prepare and deliver meals daily. This is the only human contact many elderly living alone in the United States have each day. Delivery volunteers are also trained in how to respond if the resident doesn’t come to the door when they arrive. Many volunteers have literally saved lives by alerting EMS and family when no one answers.

Many elderly live alone and a pet is the only companionship they have. Studies have shown how pets improve the quality of life for everyone. I won’t go into that because everyone knows it already. I WILL go into what many of the elderly are facing today. Being financially unable to feed their pets.

Which puts the pet in danger of being placed in a shelter or given away. Either option is heartbreaking to the owner.

Meals on Wheels has started a program in many areas of the country. Now along with the food delivered for those who are on the program, they also deliver pet food. While each reference I’ve found has a different method of doing it, they all have one common goal. Keep the cat with the owner and provide food and cat litter free of charge. Both money and food donations are needed to keep this successful program going.

I don’t mean to single out any particular program, but would like to use Beaverton Loaves and Fishes located in Oregon as an example. They are a Meals on Wheels program who has teamed with the Sherwood Cat Adoption Team. My hero for this story (remember I always have a hero or a villain) is director Vicki Adams. She sent out a survey in her area to find out how great a need there was for pet food assistance. This was in September of 2009. To date over 750 pounds of donated food has been delivered.

This service has eased the burden of the elderly on how to feed their four legged companions. Before this program was put in place, many had to share their own meals with their pet. Offering pet food ensures the elderly can eat their entire meal knowing their best friend also has food.

I also have another hero for this article. Kathy Covey is the manager of the Cat Adoption Team’s food bank. It’s the first organized food bank in the Portland, Oregon area and has come a long way since it began in June 2008. The food bank helps not only the elderly but also struggling pet owners in the area. Their mission is simple. Keep the pet in the home and out of the shelter.

Another organization with pet welfare in mind is Meals Fur Pets. It was formed in 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia and has the same goal. Feed hungry pets. They are a totally non-profit group. Their employees are strictly volunteers and they receive no money from the government to fund their program. Meals Fur Pets has a website at .

They operate in the same manner as the Cat Adoption Team food bank. They work thru various missions, food banks and charity organizations to see that food is distributed to people financially unable to feed their pets. A $10 donation will feed a pet for a month.

Kudos to Meals on Wheels, Cat Adoption Team, Loaves and Fishes and Meals Fur Pets. I’m sure there are many more similar groups I’ve overlooked and I apologize. My goal is to show how different projects to help out pets have been put into place.

Now I want to throw in my personal opinion. I LOVE to do that.

A lot of people may say that we should forget the pets and put the people first. They don’t realize that a companion animal is also the best friend (or child) to many who live alone. The same holds true to families who have fell on hard times. The answer is not to take the animal to the shelter. I could never do that to any of my fur babies. I’d go without first so they would be fed. I’m sure countless others feel the same way I feel. Removing the animal because times are tough is simply not an option.

I urge my readers to check with their local Meals on Wheels or similar food programs to see if they have a pet food plan in place. Also check with local food banks. These are both good places to start. I’m sure many haven’t considered adding pet care as a service. Do whatever it takes to put the ideas I’ve listed here into place where you live. The elderly, the pets and the animal shelters will all benefit because fewer animals will be brought in and labeled “Can’t Keep.”

And a lot fewer hearts will be broken.

Elisa

Refs:

Wheels_Bvt_Valley_Times_Jan_2010.pdf

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Feeding The Elderly And Their Pets

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Aug 01, 2010 The Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma City
by: Kim Pempin

One of my board members just sent me this great article. I just formed a non-profit here in OKC a month ago for this very same reason. Thank you for getting the word out about the need. If you get a chance, check out our website @ www.petfoodpantryokc.org. And if you have any suggestions, please let us know. We can’t seem to get the Meals on Wheels or Mobile Meals groups here to partner with us, but sounds like other areas of the country are having great success. We just keep praying for God to send us the ones in need. Bless you for all you do. Kim Pempin – Founder/President.


Apr 20, 2010 great program
by: kathy

This is a great program. We have no idea just how many elderly pepple are out there not being able to feed their dear pets.


Apr 20, 2010 Im a fan of yours Elisa
by: Edward

Elisa please keep writing man.I dont get to read or comment a great lot with travelling in my job but your articles are some of the ones I always get forwarded to me to catch up on.
Ive got a few days off right now and looking forward to catching up on here.
Ed


Apr 19, 2010 To Elisa
by: Ruth

lol ‘The Godfather’ for Michael.
Hmm now what can we Christen you ??? Any ideas anyone ?
I love your articles,good or bad, you tell it like it is and if people react then you know they’ve read it.
I answer many questions from google alerts, on declawing, which are moderated and never see light of day but at least I know the writer has had to read what I wrote in order to know not to post it.
We have a lovely quiet little seaside town just half an hour’s drive from us,it’s called Seaton Carew, you’d love to ride your horse in the sand dunes there.It’s by the North Sea which is incredibly cold but one of my most favourite places.Next time I’m standing in that sea I’ll think of you so many miles away.
Yes you could bring your cat, we LOVE cats in England.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 18, 2010 Reaction
by: Elisa Black

I think I get more of a reaction out of you all when I talk about something good than when I have bad news. Just be nice. Wars have been fought so we can say what we want and live where we want without being killed for it. I had ancestors killed on the roads between England and Scotland. Even had a few from France beheaded. At least you guys there know who your leader is. We can’t figure out where our president is from. We also can’t figure out why Muslims can pray next to the White House and Christians cannot. So I would love to be in Scotland or England right now.

Especially in a castle and riding horseback by the ocean. And only if I can bring my cat. Is that even possible? I’m great on genealogy but terrible on geography.

And no, I don’t call Michael papa internet. I call him “The Godfather.” LOL. Hi Michael!


Apr 18, 2010 Living in Scotland
by: Bill Mc

This is what OAPs may receive…..
winter fuel payment,cold weather payment,pension credit,free television license,council tax benefit,housing benefit,Christmas bonus, insulation grants,the Central Heating Scheme and personal tax allowances.
You chose to live in Spain Jackie,we choose to stay loyal to our own country.


Apr 18, 2010 Elisa
by: Anonymous

My motto is “if you have food on your table and a roof over your head don’t complain.”

I like you verye muche Elisa as it too is my mottoe.The Deare knows,none of us have muche to spare these dayes but like you if I have foode on my table and a roofe over my head I thank Him with all my hearte.


Apr 18, 2010 Egg on face
by: Fran

Sorry Elisa,I didn’t know an internet mama was someone to be looked up to,although I should have guessed.
Yes it does describe Ruth/Katt to a T.
So do we call Michael an internet papa?lol as I certainly look up to and respect him.
I’m another who will never move on from the declawing subject whilst cats and kittens are still being abused daily.
I wish I could think up a whole page to write about it, I jolly well would do just that!


Apr 18, 2010 Should we leave cats to their fate?
by: Sue

So Jackie you think one should move on do you?From the plight of cats every day having their toe ends hacked off? You think we should move on and leave them to their fate because you are tired of the subject?
I think not!
Who are you to tell us what to move on from?Who are you to tell us to put it in our pipes and smoke it?
You chose to turn unpleasant and then to tell us how hard done by you are.You have your health and strength,a lot of us have hardship,it’s called LIFE.
You don’t even read other peoples posts well enough to call them by their rightful name,by which I mean Elisa not Alisa.She writes very deep and informative articles which I enjoy,as do other regulars on here.
You say it needs new blood,yes we always love ‘new blood’ coming along but not when they belittle our ‘old blood’ writers.
This is NOT run by a handful of people having a go at each other,it’s run by a very generous and compassionate man who I’m told gives most of his days to working for the good of cats and he puts his money where his mouth is.
Ruth is a valued and respected writer who does a hell of a lot of good work.You might learn something from her and from the other good people if you keep on coming here.


Apr 18, 2010 To Elisa
by: Ruth

Elisa your family history is fascinating ! I’d love to be able to go so far back,I love genealogy but I’m only back to the 1600s so far with mine.
lol I think I might stick to being kattaddorra rather than internet mama,especially as Michael made me this great avatar.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 18, 2010 To Jackie
by: Ruth

You say the subjects of declawing and indoor/outdoor cats are well and truly exhausted and bickered over.

I agree the indoor/outdoor subject is exhausted and bickered over as we each have different circumstances and can’t tell each other what’s best for each others cats because we don’t know that.
But the subject of declawing, whilst it may be exhausting to you will never go away until declawing is banned.Declawing is premeditated abuse done by people who are supposed to help animals, not harm them.
With every article about declawing written, Michael’s PoC brings new supporters in the battle to get it banned. Michael himself joined the battle against the AVMA, the greedy declawing vets and the ignorant people who think having their cats toe ends amputated for convenience is acceptable.
So I and many others I know won’t give up on this education by which we have saved 96 cats so far from being crippled.
I’m sorry if you think the subject is exhausted, it’s not exhausted for the millions of cats right now suffering after being declawed and the cats doomed to suffer from it until we get it stopped.
As long as Michael allows me to, I will try to think up new ways of getting the message across in words and in pictures,to those who still don’t know the truth.These pages come up on Google alerts so are very valuable to our cause.
This is very very important,so far we have 3036 signatures to ban declawing,from all over the world, quite a few thanks to people who come here and sign, pass our petition on,post it on their groups etc.
When declawing is banned there will be huge celebrations and the subject will drop but until then I for one will keep on posting about it every single chance I get.
I’ve never done anything for praise, I do it for the love of my fellow humans, animals and for this world people are slowly ruining by their selfishness.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 17, 2010 A Handfull of Us
by: Elisa Black

That’s why you need to pass my story links on to other people. And write a few of your own. Michael and I get into it on the indoor/outdoor issue a lot its all well and good. I would like to tell everyone how I go about writing an article. First let me stress that I never know what I’m going to write about. I’ll surf the net until something REALLY catches my interest. Then I go under the google on this site and make sure it hasn’t already been covered to death. That way I know I have new material. These days I’m trying to find more good news that people can put in place where they live. I’m living on so little financially its a wonder I’m alive. My motto is “if you have food on your table and a roof over your head don’t complain.” I pretty much stick to that. I have a lot of ancestors from Scotland. Mostly Boggs and Hamiltons. Plus on my moms side my 27th great grandfather was King Edward I.

The only way to get fresh blood on her (nothing wrong with the old blood, which I am a member of now) but the more people who learn of the site the more we can get done. The best way to do that is to write a story and forward the link to all your friends who love cats and that gets the ball rolling.


Apr 17, 2010 To defend or not to defend, that’s the question…
by: Jackie

Right,where do we start? First of all: a thank you to Alisa, who seems to know where I am coming from.
I can explain a little about myself. As a Dutch person I’ve lived most of my life in Scotland and have seen poverty first hand in cities like Glasgow and others.
After 28 years of looking after my kids, supporting my husband with his business and also working my butt off for years with a company that pretended to pay my NI, I found out on retiring, that had not been the case, so I am getting £26/week and having chosen not to live in the UK, I am not entitled to any of the benifits, like heating etc. ( And Spain is no longer cheap!)
However, I still work my butt off with my art and on my farm and I am a happy person with my 2 dogs and 3 cats. I did not attack Ruth, merely tried to let Alisa in the US know that the UK does not just consists of England, but there is Scotland too.
As for statistics: There is a 25% of poverty in Scotland, compared with a 24% in the whole of the UK. So there is hardship! Even in a welfare state.
Here in Spain, myself and the foreign population around the town where we live support a fantastic couple, Tony and Lil, who pick up stray cats and dogs and even donkeys and they try to feed them without any governments help. And so we all do our bit!. Here, strays are being picked up by the police on a regular basis and put to sleep if no-one claims them within a few days.
As for this website: I did enjoy it so much when I discovered it, but it seems to be mainly run by a handful of people, who regularly have a go at each other. New blood is needed! And, being jumped upon with prejudice and assumptions will only shy away that new blood.
I admire Michael, who answers every new entry and often starts another topic, which is educational, which makes you think and to look things up.
The subjects of declawing and indoor/outdoor cats are well and truly exhausted and bickered over.
I think one should move on.
No-one is helped with hearing how hard so and so is working for pets/elderly etc. It’s often the ones who don’t shout, who do the most.
Making people aware of certain organisations, who deal with these issues is important and gives the reader the choice either to do something or to sit back. Most of us are grown-ups with a proper developed concience to deal with that.
Info on catbreeds, bad or good breeders, bad or good petowners, educational articles on pet illnesses, pet dangers,house hold hazards, pet behaviour etc is stimulating. Forums are stimulating.
Tit for tat is not. Freedom of speech is important. We should respect people’s opinions and read well first before making personal attacks.
And once again: Keep up the good work, Alisa! I did start off with saying: I applaud it and still do. Meals on wheels with petcare included is a fantastic initiative, wherever it is organized.
So this is how I feel and maybe one should put this for now in one’s pipe and smoke it.


Apr 17, 2010 I’m the same
by: Elisa Black

I’d love to bury my head in concrete some days. I’m trying to find good cat news these days because there is just so much bad. At least we all have a place to gather on this site

I’m just now getting started for the day and the animals are competing against the pc for my attention.

Since I’ve nicknamed you Internet Mama I can see you using that as a new internet name.


Apr 17, 2010 Internet mama…moi ?
by: Ruth

I don’t know what to say lol except there are many many people who do far more and know far more than I do.
I think like minded people tend to flock together and most people who come here care very much about others and about animals, especially cats.
I sometimes wish I could have a carefree life with my head buried in the sand, but many years ago I freely chose what I do, so I’ll carry on doing it until I drop off my twig.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 17, 2010 Internet Mama
by: Elisa Black

That is the highest compliment possible. It means she sets the internet standard of being a person we should all look to for guidance. She is the one we should strive to be like as we lobby for our cats and cat issues.


Apr 17, 2010 An internet mama ??????
by: Fran

I don’t know what an internet mama is but I can tell you where Ruth is right now.She’s with an elderley lady and her diabetic cat whose life she saved earlier on after he almost went into a coma.
So if an internet mama is an insult I’m very disappointed and I can tell you a lot of us who know Ruth can vouch for her kindness to ALL people and animals.
Elisa is in America where there are far more hardships than we face here in the UK.
Its the self first last and in the middle brigade who cause old people to face hardship.


Apr 16, 2010 Please forgive
by: Elisa Black

My spelling errors are horrible when I first get up. Please overlook them. I have a bad habit of answering my mail before I’m awake enough to type.


Apr 16, 2010 Please come back Jackie, we all get jumped on at one time of another here.
by: Elisa Black

I DO know people in my area who have died of hardship. Search in elderly freeze to death. Here is an few examples.
http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6740934&page=1
There was also a death in upstate SC a few years back when an elderly woman with no electricity froze to death.

There are laws being put into place not to cut power to the elderly who cannot pay their electricity bill but its not a national bill and someone has to die for it to be passed in an area. Most electric companies will cut power anywhere from 2 days late to 60 days late. Usually they leave it on for a terminal patient but they don’t consider old age terminal. They don’t want excuses and they don’t care how old someone is.

The food banks are running low this year in the states because of the jobless rates. The number announced to the world on unemployment are a joke because they don’t list the part time people who lost their jobs and they don’t list the people who have exhausted EVERY form of extension.

It’s tough right now feeding people and pets but so far everyone I know has managed to do both. Stay with us Jackie, you’ll learn a few things. The first is don’t mess with RUTH. She’s our INTERNET MAMA. I usually argue with Michael. He seems to enjoy a good verbal round every now and then. And write a few stories about you and your cats.

Hope all the newbies love our site here.


Apr 16, 2010 Oops
by: Jackie

OOPS!!!
Anyone out there who knows me actually???
Keep up the good work Alisa!
Jackie


Apr 16, 2010 To Jackie
by: Ted

That really is an innovative idea Elisa,thanks for writing it up.It’s always food for thought if need strikes our country as badly as yours.
I’m actually a volunteer driver to take old folk to hospital or whatever and keep an eye on their welfare at the same time.
Old folk are well looked after in our neck of the wooods.

Jackie if you personally know of Scotland’s areas of hardship why aren’t you doing something about it?
There is no point in preaching to the already converted on here.
We get off our behinds and help those in need.


Apr 16, 2010 Good thing Elisa
by: Colin J

Well I’m an OAP and got no grumbles as we are well treated in England.I can only speak for England not Scotland but I reckon they get the same as us.
I feel for the people in America who are so poor and real glad this idea is helping them and their pets.
We don’t know how lucky we are here but it could all come crashing down after the election and we might need that idea ourselves.


Apr 16, 2010 Good idea
by: Kathryn

That’s such a good idea Elisa.There are countries so much worse off than ours(UK)where we moan about our lot.
I hope this idea catches on in them also.
I don’t know of any elderly who have died of poverty here thank God,we are very lucky.


Apr 16, 2010 Jackie
by: Edward

Hold it right there Jackie.I know how much Ruth does for older folk and you are totally unfair to pounce on her remark that way.
Come back when you do as much as she does for people of all ages and for animals.
Sorry Ruth,I know you don’t like anyone butting in but this annoyed me man!
Ed


Apr 16, 2010 In my defence
by: Ruth

Jackie, I actually said ‘I DON’T THINK anyone here suffers such hardship feeding their pets, because of our welfare state’
I personally don’t know any old people who do suffer as you say, surely they have people concerned about them who can help them get the benefits they are entitled to ?
Don’t they get winter fuel allowance in Scotland and extra payments for below zero weeks ?
I’m an over 60 myself and don’t have much money coming in and am glad of that extra money in the Winter.This is given automatically to us.
If I knew of anyone suffering hardship I’d be the first one to help them out !
If everyone kept an eye out for vulnerable poor people instead of criticising others, things would be much better !


Apr 16, 2010 food for pets&elderly?
by: Jackie

Hi Elisa,
Just to applaud you on this initiative, wonderful.
And to Ruth: be careful with saying that in the UK there are no elderly who cannot feed their pets because of ‘the welfare state’. Please look at Scotland where the elderly die during a severe winter because they cannot keep their heating going. And I am sure there are certain area’s in England, in the big cities, where there is enormous hardship. Especially the elderly who don’t know the ‘system’ that well and know where to get additional money with their pensions are often on the breadline.
I, personally, know of Scotland’s hardship area’s and I hope that someone there will pick up the lead that Elisa has thrown us.
Keep up the good work!
Jackie


Apr 16, 2010 Wonderful !
by: Ruth

That is wonderful Elisa. I’m so glad someone thought up the idea to help poor elderly people and their pets.
We actually do have Meals on Wheels in England too but I don’t think anyone here suffers such hardship feeding their pets, because of our welfare state.
It makes me so angry when anyone says those of us who care about animals should care about people instead. They can’t get it into their thick heads that we can and DO care about both.
I know many people in Animal Rescue and Welfare and I don’t know a single one of us who doesn’t care and help people and the environment too.
I love your articles Elisa, they are always very interesting and an insight into your country too.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Apr 15, 2010 Feeding the elderly and their pets
by: BJ

This is really a good program for the elderly. I agree that having an animal is good therapy for older people as well as the young.

Keep the stories coming, I can’t wait each time to read the next story.

I love my pet.



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