FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Humane Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry is taking a major hit this year as a surge in pet food prices has caused a shortage at the animal shelter.
Officials with the Pet Food Pantry said they’ve had to cut the amount that they give out at a time in half. They used to give out 16 pounds of food per family, now they only give out 8 pounds.
Rochele Watson, program coordinator at the Humane Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry, said that’s because the donations are not coming in like they used to due to price increases. A year ago, the Pantry’s reserve room had 40 pallets worth of food. It now has only one pallet of cat food.
“It’s simply not available, and when it is available, we’re competing more broadly high prices,” Watson said. “So people are having to make hard decisions right now when they’re in the stores, and we’re having to make hard decisions when we’re looking at in trying to secure more, more pet food for our own program.”
Watson said they do receive help from other organizations, but they are feeling the pressure as well.
“The organizations that we used to work really closely with we still do, we just have less to share between us and it becomes frustrating because we still have the same client list, if not a growing client list,” Watson said. “And we do want to provide the best we can to meet their needs, but it has been really really hard, especially in the last probably 15 months.”
Watson said it’s gotten to the point where she has had to contact stores to see when their truck would come in to purchase pet food.
“That’s something I’m not comfortable with. I don’t feel good about pulling food when I know that the general public needs it too. So it’s kind of that balance where you’re fighting for your program and fighting for the public and just hoping somewhere there’s a solution in the meantime,” Watson said.
There is an even bigger shortage of canned pet food at the pantry. They only had a weeks worth of supply to give out.
Officials with the Pet Food Pantry say if you’re in need, they still encourage you to reach out for help. On the flip side, if you’re able to donate, you can online, and they are also taking all volunteers.