Many of our Middle and West Tennessee neighbors consider their pets members of their families. And when these families face hunger, so do their four-legged family members. Now Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is teaming up with Friends of MACC to help those families receive the resources they need.
“If a family is struggling to put food on their table, it is safe to say they are also struggling to feed any pets they may have,” said Sarah Spadavecchia, Safety Net Program Coordinator for Nashville Metro Animal Care & Control. “When this happens, families may try to surrender the animal to a local shelter, and our goal is to keep pets with their families.”
For the past three years, MACC’s Safety Net Program and Friends of MACC – a group of volunteers working to support MACC – has set out to prevent the surrender of pets in Davidson County.
“Many times, situations arise that are out of someone’s control, that makes it difficult to care for their animals – a lost job, housing issues, veterinary bills, etc.,” said Sarah. “Fortunately, we are positioned to provide free resources like pet food, financial assistance, and veterinary care. When a pet stays with their family, that is one less pet at the shelter and one less pet that needs to be re-homed.”
As part of their efforts, Friends of MACC has begun distributing pet food at some of Second Harvest’s Drive Thru, No Contact Mobile Pantries in Davidson County. While individuals and families drive through, receiving up to two weeks’ worth of fresh produce, bakery and dairy items, and nonperishable pantry staples, they are also asked if they needed food for their pets. If so, Friends of MACC is there to help.
In total, Friends of MACC has distributed more than 900 bags of dog and cat food during four joint distributions with Second Harvest, with plans for additional joint distributions in the future.
“It’s incredible seeing how this program is making such a difference in our community and the lives of families we have helped,” said Sarah.
Second Harvest is proud to partner with community organizations, like Friends of MACC, in helping our neighbors facing hardship and hunger receive the food and resources they need.