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Animal Friends seeing twice the number of requests at its pet food bank

BEN AVON HEIGHTS, Pa. — Since the pandemic began, Animal Friends has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people struggling to feed their pets.

But the shelter has come up with a solution that brings the pet food to the people.

“Some people were driving over an hour to get here to our campus at animal friends,” said Cody Hollerman, the director of communications at Animal Friends.

The desperate need for pet food continues at Animal Friends. The organization is seeing twice the number of requests at its “Chow Wagon” pet food bank.

“At the onset of the pandemic, we saw a tremendous influx. People were panicked. People were losing their jobs. And they were really out of options,” Hollerman said.

Back in April, the shelter held a drive-through pet food distribution that fed 1,600 pets.

“We knew we had to get the food to their backyards so it’s a lot easier for them to have access to it,” Hollerman said,

So Animal Friends created pet food distribution hubs in several communities in Pittsburgh and Washington County, so pet food is more accessible for those who need it.

“We learned that barriers of transportation are a big problem that face underserved communities, especially these folks who are having a hard time feeding their pets,” Hollerman said.

Hoellerman said the hubs are located in libraries, churches, community centers and food pantries.

“No questions asked. We just want to help as many people as possible,” Hollerman said.

If you are in need of pet food and want to know where the closest hub is to you, call Animal Friends at 412-847-7023.