The unending government shutdown is causing stress for federal workers and their families, including their pets. Communities all over the country have been working to help fill this gap. The #ChefsforFeds project of Chef Jose Andrés and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen is serving hot food to thousands of government workers daily at many locations in Washington, D.C. and around the country — already 40,000 in DC alone. Here in D.C., WCK is partnering with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to provide pet food and necessary supplies for furloughed workers.
Since Tuesday, IFAW has given away 600 pounds of dog food and kitty litter a day. IFAW Program Officer Kelly Johnson explained, “I was born and raised in the DC metro area and my mom was a federal worker for 38 years. It’s an honor to serve my community right here in my backyard. We’ve been helping keep families together and ease their burden of taking care of their pets while things are tough and they’re very grateful for it.” Pets are feeling the love in other cities too.
- In Baltimore, Safeway donated $10,000 worth of dog and cat food to Humane Society of Baltimore’s pet food bank to specifically help furloughed federal workers with pets.
- In Indianapolis, those in need can present their federal government ID from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at IndyHumane’s Animal Welfare Center, 456 N. Holmes Ave. Cat and dog food will be available.
- Outside Chicago, the Our House of Hope Rescue organization’s pet food pantry on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, the pantry will be providing nutritional items for cats and dogs, at no cost, to federal workers.
- San Antonio Humane Society is offering a free bag of dog or cat food to furloughed federal employees.
- Outside Philly, in Delaware County, PA, the Providence Animal Center will offer furloughed pet owners five pounds of cat food and 10 pounds of dog food per pet – furloughed federal worker wishing to receive the food should email .
- Guthrie, OK, Pet Angels Rescue is offering a one-month supply of food for up to six animals per household.
- Central Oregon, The Humane Society of Central Oregon is offering free premium dog and cat food for federal employees on furlough on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p..m., 61170 SE 27th Street in Bend
If you know of similar pet assistance offers in your community, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update this list.
Why This Matters: What can we say. There are so many federal employees and their families and pets who need our help now. I (Monica) am thinking of all my former colleagues at NOAA and wish there was more we could do. This is a real tragedy. For those of you reading this, just know the ODP family is with you.
What You Can Do: If you want to help, click here to join the WCK family of #ChefsforFeds. Volunteers are needed.