Loving a pet is easy…providing for them can be a challenge especially for those coping financially during the pandemic.
After witnessing a man struggling to purchase one can of cat food, Kenneth Gonsalves of Acushnet, MA, felt compelled to do something. He ended up buying additional cans of cat food for the man.
That moment stuck with Gonsalves and he wondered if there was anything he could do to help others who might be in a similar financial situation.
Our pets are family and their care and comfort are important to us.
Gonsalves wondered if the man he helped might be choosing between feeding himself or his cat. He went to Facebook to ask the community if there was a program to supply pet food for people in need. The responses shocked Gonsalves.
“The only answer we could get was, occasionally at food pantries sometimes they have animal food if somebody donates,” – Gonsalves
Kenneth, along with his wife Jill, decided to use a farm stand that had been sitting empty on their property and transform it into a ‘Pet Food Pantry’ for the community.
They started out by purchasing six totes full of cat and dog food.
People in need could come by anonymously to pick up some needed pet food. “A lot of people who lost their job during the pandemic and still aren’t back working…People who have lost their jobs, we have senior citizens in need, people who live in the housing authority or trailer parks this is for anyone who needs a helping hand.” – Jill Gonsalves
News traveled quickly after the couple was featured on their local news station – Boston CBS Local.
Jill couldn’t believe the response from the community. “We had a line of cars out front of people dropping off stuff, we had to go multiple times to get more totes because we had so many people bringing donations to us.” – Jill Gonsalves told the Rachel Ray Show
The couple started the Acushnet Food Pantry Facebook page to spread the word.
Things took off from there and donations kept pouring in. Other items that were donated included treats and toys. Their farm stand was completely stocked and they couldn’t be happier.
The couple not only received food donations for their pantry, but they also received thank you letters from people they helped.
One of the letters read, “I just need to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I haven’t worked in over a month with a two-year-old at home. Dad brings in about $300/week. From the pandemic to Christmas, it has been tough. But with the help of beautiful people like you, my fur baby can now eat a little bit longer, and my heart is happy.”
Another letter said, “My husband and I recently lost our jobs…I would like to thank you for helping us feed our fur babies…Thank you so very much for your help. God bless and stay safe.”
Now watch the video about this amazing couple who is helping community fur babies in need.
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