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It's a new program out there, that's designed to help low income families feed and keep their animals during difficult times. It's not like the government funded food assistance program for people. This so called "pet food stamps" program is strictly donations based. And there are already similar programs in place, here in Siouxland.
"I have one dried 5 pound bag of dog food," said Linda Scheid, executive director at Food Bank of Siouxland.
In the last six months, 3,000 pounds of dog food have been donated to the Food Bank of Siouxland in Sioux City. And as quickly as it comes in, it goes back out to help families in need.
"When a family comes in and they're struggling, we like to meet their needs. Those pets are just children with fur,," said Scheid.
Scheid says almost all of their pet food donations comes from retail stores like Target or Petco. Often times bags of food like this, fall off the shelves and rip open, so the stores tape it back up and send it to the food bank because it is still eatable.
Scheid says food donations like the new "pet food stamps" help families from having to make a permanent decision, like give up a family pet, for what may just be a temporary situation.
"So you had the pet before, what are you going to do abandon the pet? Just because you're having a bad time at this particular moment. Things may get better."
And until that situation does get better, the Siouxland Humane Society also offers a short term program to help struggling families.
Both the Food Bank of Siouxland and the Humane Society say the pet food donations are not a huge part of their daily operations by any means, but there are certainly families out there benefiting from programs like "pet food stamps."