In September, a wish came true for Lincoln Animal Ambassadors. The group found a bigger location for its pet food bank. Now located at 1520 Knox St., in the basement of a former daycare, the almost 900 square feet rental space allows the group to store and distribute all their pet items in one location.
Previously, LAA had to keep surplus in two storage spaces. One of the regular food bank volunteers, Ron Stow, said that the new facility, “saves a lot of hassle. I used to have to move 1,500 pounds or more from storage each week to the food bank. Now all of that is in one storage space. It’s very nice.”
LAA’s pet food bank serves anywhere from 10 to 30 clients a night, and is an income-based program. Its official hours are 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. Clients need to call ahead to apply. Upon arrival, they’ll need to show identification and photos of each of the pets to receive food. With its new facility, LAA will be able to accept more clients and provide quicker service. Clients may apply only once a month to the pet food bank; the goal is to provide enough food to last 30 days.
Every month an average of 5,000 pounds of food is given out. Cat and dog food are the most often requested products, and each cat owner is offered a 20-bag of litter. Sometimes a client will ask for a special-needs diet or for a specific brand. LAA does its best to oblige, even purchasing prescription pet food from veterinarians for recipients who otherwise couldn’t afford it. At times, there are requests for food for other animals, too: birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even rats. If clients ask for items that haven’t been donated, LAA may dip into its funds to provide.
LAA’s pet food bank relies on donations. One item that is needed but typically not donated is cat litter. The pet food bank is currently facing a shortage of dry adult food and dry kitten food, but it always needs cat and dog food of any type and for any age. Gently-used pet-related items are also welcome. Items can be dropped off at either of its Petco or Super Saver locations, or at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Monetary donations can be mailed to: Lincoln Animal Ambassadors, P.O. Box 67072, Lincoln, NE 68506.
Lincoln Animal Ambassadors greatly appreciates the support of the people and businesses in Lancaster County in making the food bank a success. This fall, it received a most-welcome grant of $750 from the Sowers Club of Lincoln to help cover rental costs. LAA is also grateful to those stores and manufacturers who donate surplus food, and to local animal groups and average animal lovers like you who contribute.
Lincoln Animal Ambassadors addresses the root causes of animal homelessness in Lincoln and the surrounding area. It prevents unwanted animals with its low-cost spay/neuter program and keeps animals in their homes with a temporary assistance pet food bank.
Allison Hunter-Frederick is media chair for the Lincoln Animal Ambassadors.