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

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

Lauren Marchand and her daughter at the head of Okanagan Lake in Syilx territory, where they often go to gather, play and be in ceremony. Photo by Kelsie Kilawna
‘I don’t feel safe’: RCMP, social worker searched Syilx mother’s home without her knowledge

RCMP searched the home looking for a meth lab, that was never found inside the residence

Tom Smithwick has written a new book, Knocking On Freedom’s Door, about his experiences advocating for a drug addiction treatment program in Kelowna. (File photo)
‘Knocking On Freedom’s Door’: A retired Kelowna lawyer’s insights to mental illness, addiction

Freedom’s Doors advocate Tom Smithwick shares what he has learned from experiences of treatment program clients in new book

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Reddit: u/KittyLitterBiscuit
Glenmore closures remain in place following fire

A compromised crane at a construction site is causing issues

Passengers make their way through Montreal–Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Saturday, December 19, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Dining indoors at YLW’s White Spot allowed despite public health orders

Airport post-security restaurants and BC Ferries cafeterias are exempt from the public health order

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

The Royal’s 1951 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nolan's Pharmasave in downtown Vernon received 200 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines Friday, April 9, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
AstraZeneca vaccines arrive at Vernon pharmacies

Four pharmacies in the city received doses of the COVID-19 inoculant Friday

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on Thursday, April 8. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

An East Hill resident had their leaf bags torched in front of their home overnight April 8. Less than two weeks prior their garbage can was lit on fire too. (Taryn Allen photo)
Garbage, leaf fires spark fear in North Okanagan

First an East Hill residents’ trash can, then bagged leaves were lit on fire

Most Read