Kamloops Food Bank receives 35,000 pounds of pet food from PetSmart

By Chad Klassen
November 14, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: November 14, 2017 - 6:32pm

KAMLOOPS — As the holiday season approaches, it is a tough time for many people who rely on organizations like the Kamloops Food Bank to get what they need.

Many of the people who use the food bank have pets, which need sustainence, too. On Tuesday, the food bank received 35,000 pounds of dog and cat food from PetSmart. 

"We're fortunate this year to be the recipient of a 53-foot tractor trailer," said operational manager at the Kamloops Food Bank Wes Graham. "I'd say possibly in years past, maybe we wouldn't have been able to receive that. But with the support from the community, our PetSmart locally, and Big Steel Box helping us out with some storage, it's an amazing way to make a big impact in the community."

It's the first year of PetSmart's 'Buy a Bag, Give a Meal' program, and Tuesday morning marked the first delivery to the Kamloops Food Bank. 

"This is a program initiated by our head office. There's been a number of donations in different communities around the United States and Canada at this point," said store leader at the Kamloops PetSmart Gary Silver. "The Kamloops Food Bank was contacted and asked if they could take the donation, and luckily they said 'yes' and we've got over 30,000 pounds of food here."

The pet food is being kept in storage containers and the plan is to distribute the massive amounts of food to other organizations in town. 

"When you hand a client four litres of milk and their eyes light up, and you hand a client a bag of dog food or cat food and their eyes light up, it all has the same meaning, especially because the animals and caring for them is important to our clients," said Graham. 

For the food bank, which primarily serves its human clients, those same people often have pets, and having food to provide for their animals is appreciated. 

"We have no problem partnering with the SPCA and helping them distribute and get the food to who needs it. The Humane Society," noted Graham. "We're connected to a lot of organizations in town for food distrubtion, so I think once the word gets out that we have this product, we're more than happy to be a distribution hub for this product." 

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