Letter: Pets Deserve Meals Delivered Too
To the Editor:
I was pleased to see the Valley News article “Groups Deliver Meals to Needy Pets” (Jan. 4) because we’ve found that some of our clients receiving home-delivered meals were very much in need of pet food for their beloved animals. Thanks to the Banfield Charitable Trust and the Meals on Wheels Association of America, we have had two years of funding to purchase and deliver pet food in the Upper Valley and Mascoma areas to approximately 50 frail older adults who needed the food for their pets. We also have established partnerships with local animal rescue organizations in the Haverhill and Plymouth-Newfound areas to collect and deliver pet food to clients in those regions. County-wide, we deliver approximately 500 meals every weekday, weather permitting. Current data, compiled nationally and broken down by county, show that 41.3 percent of Grafton County residents over age 65 are living on low incomes — 250 percent of the federal poverty level or less. It can be hard to see older adults’ poverty and need from our perspective in the relatively affluent Upper Valley, but it’s real. Our senior centers’ staff reported that some of our home-delivered-meals clients had been feeding their pets a portion of their own daily meal before we started the modest pet food delivery program. Because of a combination of clients’ limited income and their inability to shop for pet food, the need truly existed for this small program that augments our daily meals delivery.
Executive Director Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, Inc.