Meals on Wheels of RI’s Pet Food Program supports clients who depend on their pets for companionship.
By working with local partners and grant funders, we are able to provide pet food and supplies to homebound clients lacking the resources to adequately care for their pets.
Since 1969, Meals on Wheels of RI’s programs have directly addressed the issues of food insecurity and social isolation that are risk factors for negative health outcomes among older adults. Social isolation, which can be lessened through pet ownership, is known to increase seniors’ risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, depression, and anxiety.
From June 2020 through January 2021, a study conducted by Meals on Wheels America in partnership with PetSmart Charities revealed that:
- Nearly 100% of home-delivered meal clients say their pet brings them happiness
- 98.8% say their pet feels like a family member
- 96.6% say having a pet in their life makes them feel less lonely
The study also highlighted that many homebound seniors need help caring for their pets:
- 20% reported going without food to feed their pets
- 30% reported going without personal/medical care in order to provide for their pets
- 30% reported not paying bills in order to provide for their pets
- 75% reported needing help getting enough pet food
How you can help
Holding a pet food drive at your workplace is a great way to contribute to the Pet Food Program. For details, click here. (opens a PDF in a new window)