ROSELAND — Dog and cat food will be given away to pet owners in need in Roseland and East Garfield Park Wednesday as part of a project to help pets around the city.
The first pickup location is Ald. Anthony Beale’s community service office at 34 E. 112th St. in Roseland. Residents can begin picking up the pet food at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
There will be a second pickup at noon at Breakthrough’s Fresh Market food pantry, 3334 W. Carroll Avenue in East Garfield Park.
“With everything that happened last week we realized that there is an even greater need now since not all the stores that are in the neighborhood may even have pet food currently,” said Lydia Krupinski, chief program officer for the Anti-Cruelty Society, which is helping to coordinate the events.
The food distribution is part of The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Friends Who Care Program that’s provided more than 350,000 pet meals to people in need since April 2020 . The program is funded by a private donors as well as by PetSmart Charities and Hill’s Pet Nutrition.
“We are utilizing some metrics developed by UIC Great Cities Institute to look at economic hardship levels and those are the places where we’re going and helping,” said Krupinski.
This food distribution, also being coordinated by Beale, is open to anyone interested or in need of pet food.
“We really don’t want to put up any red tape because we recognize that maintaining people’s pets is like a core need,” said Krupinski. “We want to keep pets and people together and we’re not going to question that you need this.”
Beale said it’s another way of giving back to the community and providing a service to people during the crisis.
“We’re still trying to rebound from the looting, and with COVID-19 still going around, people don’t have work, people are struggling and we’re trying to help out every way we can,” Beale said.
The food will be distributed by Beale’s team in Roseland. Drive-up and walk-up recipients are both accepted.
Available for distribution are dry dog kibble for large and small breed dogs and dry cat food.
Originally, there would be 500 bags of kibble distributed, but after the area ranked high on the hardship index and everything that has happened in the last week, there will be hundreds of pounds of food available, according to Krupinski.
“We’re stacking a big moving truck to the gills with food, drive it over to the space and just see how much they can take,” said Krupinski. “Our goal is to keep people together to preserve the human animal bond.”