Manitoba

Pet food bank in Winnipeg in dire need of cat food

A pet food bank in Winnipeg has resumed services after having to pause giving out food to cat owners because of a lack of supply — but its director says there’s no telling how long that limited amount will last.

Food going out again after services paused, but no telling how long that will last, founder says

Three cats eat from a pile of cat food in a park in this file photo. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

A pet food bank in Winnipeg has resumed services after having to pause giving out food to cat owners because of a lack of supply — but its director says there's no telling how long that limited amount will last.

Nicole Wilks, founder of Animal Food Bank, said enough donations have come in over the past week to feed the cats of about half the 80 people currently on the list.

"So the need is definitely still there," Wilks told CBC's Weekend Morning Show host Shannah-Lee Vidal.

Wilks said the organization's Winnipeg branch gets requests from between 200 and 300 pet owners every month, for animals including cats, dogs, snakes, turtles and fish.

And across its three Canadian locations, there's one thing in common: cat food is always in short supply.

Wilks said it's been tough to get the word out about the need because the organization hasn't been allowed to meet people in the community at events because of pandemic restrictions.

The organization offers a monthly service to anyone who requests it without a need to prove their income level, she said. And clients are allowed to have up to four pets involved.

"We really want people to have a low barrier access to our services," she said.

"The goal is always to keep the pet with the humans that love them. And so our mandate is to do whatever we can do to help that, to facilitate that so that we're keeping them out of shelters."

Animal Food Bank will also take donations of any pet food, even if it's open already.

"We're really not fussy. We're just grateful for the help," Wilks said.

The organization is also in need of volunteers to help with fundraising drives and more. Information about where donations can be dropped off is listed on Animal Food Bank's website.

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