Bailey, in an SUV with donated pet food on the way to the Westside Community Foodbank on Dec. 17. (Animal Food Bank Facebook photo)

Animal Food Bank looking to feed Kelowna’s pets in-need

‘I couldn’t sleep that night because I was wondering how he feeds his dog’

A new Kelowna food bank is attempting to ensure all mouths will be fed this holiday season.

And not just the human ones.

The Animal Food Bank has been operating for about six weeks, with a goal to collect and distribute pet food and supplies to animals in need.

The idea came to the organization’s founder Nicole Wilks when she met a person experiencing homelessness and his dog, Odin, on Leon Avenue. As she was walking out of a business along the street, she saw the two and said she had to go pet the dog.

“His dog was lovely and he was lovely … But I couldn’t sleep that night because I was wondering how he feeds his dog,” she said.

Wilks began doing research and found there are very few resources in Kelowna for people experiencing homelessness with pets. With that and the dwindling donations of pet supplies to local shelters in the winter months, the Animal Food Bank was born.

“The benefits of owning a pet for somebody who isn’t homeless are huge,” she said.

“It’s like tenfold for people who are homeless.”

According to Wilks, the program endeavours to “bridge the gap” of an often unrecognized need for food banks and shelters.

Still in its infancy, Wilks said the food bank’s approach will change and adapt as it continues to grow but currently, three donation areas are set up at local businesses across Kelowna and West Kelowna.

As donation bins fill up, volunteers transport items directly to organizations that need them for distribution.

“As fast as I can get the food into the food bank, we have a spot for it,” she said.

“It goes into my garage and a day later, we’re distributing it.”

Donations are being accepted at Great Little Box Company at 3502 Spectrum Court, Total Pet at 1985 Harvey Avenue and Manchester Signs at #5-1718 Byland Road. Animal Food Bank also opened its first Vernon location today (Dec. 23) at Pet Planet in Vernon Square.

More information about how to get involved through donating or volunteering is available at the Animal Food Bank’s website and Facebook page.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Gospel Mission feeds over 800 at annual Christmas Banquet

READ MORE: Will Kelowna see a white Christmas this year?


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna Rockets blow 4-goal lead in overtime loss to Calgary

Captain Nolan Foote made a brief return as Kelowna drops Family Day matinee 6-5

Lake Country singer advances to Top 25 in Okanagan’s Got Talent

Payton Bischoff will be performing on Feb. 23 in Vernon

Soccer legend Bob Lenarduzzi to speak about dementia in Kelowna

Lenarduzzi will speak at the inaugural Breakfast to Remember on Mar. 10

Kelowna RCMP arrest alleged impaired driver

The driver is facing potential charges after power pole collision

West Kelowna Warriors host Trail Smoke Eaters

The Warriors are coming from a Saturday loss against the Vernon Vipers

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

RCMP report woman arrested after ramming police cruiser

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read