Bailey, in an SUV with donated pet food on the way to the Westside Community Foodbank on Dec. 17. (Animal Food Bank Facebook photo)

Bailey, in an SUV with donated pet food on the way to the Westside Community Foodbank on Dec. 17. (Animal Food Bank Facebook photo)

Animal Food Bank looking to feed Kelowna’s pets in-need

‘I couldn’t sleep that night because I was wondering how he feeds his dog’

A new Kelowna food bank is attempting to ensure all mouths will be fed this holiday season.

And not just the human ones.

The Animal Food Bank has been operating for about six weeks, with a goal to collect and distribute pet food and supplies to animals in need.

The idea came to the organization’s founder Nicole Wilks when she met a person experiencing homelessness and his dog, Odin, on Leon Avenue. As she was walking out of a business along the street, she saw the two and said she had to go pet the dog.

“His dog was lovely and he was lovely … But I couldn’t sleep that night because I was wondering how he feeds his dog,” she said.

Wilks began doing research and found there are very few resources in Kelowna for people experiencing homelessness with pets. With that and the dwindling donations of pet supplies to local shelters in the winter months, the Animal Food Bank was born.

“The benefits of owning a pet for somebody who isn’t homeless are huge,” she said.

“It’s like tenfold for people who are homeless.”

According to Wilks, the program endeavours to “bridge the gap” of an often unrecognized need for food banks and shelters.

Still in its infancy, Wilks said the food bank’s approach will change and adapt as it continues to grow but currently, three donation areas are set up at local businesses across Kelowna and West Kelowna.

As donation bins fill up, volunteers transport items directly to organizations that need them for distribution.

“As fast as I can get the food into the food bank, we have a spot for it,” she said.

“It goes into my garage and a day later, we’re distributing it.”

Donations are being accepted at Great Little Box Company at 3502 Spectrum Court, Total Pet at 1985 Harvey Avenue and Manchester Signs at #5-1718 Byland Road. Animal Food Bank also opened its first Vernon location today (Dec. 23) at Pet Planet in Vernon Square.

More information about how to get involved through donating or volunteering is available at the Animal Food Bank’s website and Facebook page.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Gospel Mission feeds over 800 at annual Christmas Banquet

READ MORE: Will Kelowna see a white Christmas this year?


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

The RDCO is planning to flush water mains in the Westshore Estates water system. (Kim Sievers/Wikimedia Commons photo)
Repairs underway on Vernon water main break

Water service interrupted for around 15 properties on portion of 43rd Street

Tanya (Erin Ormond), Donna (Stephanie Roth, and Rosie (Jenni Burke), laugh together in this scene from a rehearsal of ‘Mamma Mia!’ at the Chemainus Theatre. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
BOOMER TALK: Laughter is the best medicine

Vernon columnist Carole Fawcett reminds us all to enjoy the funny things in life, it’s good for us

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

Most Read