It’s well known that Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County meets the nutritional needs of hundreds of homebound seniors every day. What fewer people realize is that the nonprofit service organization also provides food for hundreds of its clients’ companion animals.
“Years ago, we found that many people were feeding their pets the food that we bring by,” says Terri Bowman, development director for the Asheville-based agency. “With a number of clients, these pets are their only companions.” Today, Meals on Wheels supplies approximately 200 of its more than 550 local clients with food for their pets, be they dogs, cats, birds or even turtles.
As economic conditions have tightened, says Bowman, Meals on Wheels’ stockpile of pet foods “has gotten disastrously low,” leading it to call on the community for donations of kibbles, morsels and flakes. (Approximately 20 percent of the agency’s funding comes from government sources; the remaining 80 percent from businesses, grants, churches, civic groups and individuals.)
If you’d like to help out, call Meals on Wheels at 253-5286 or visit its 146 Victoria Road location (near Mission Hospitals) to drop off a gift of food. The MOW staff can also direct you to other drop-off points around Asheville and Buncombe County, including veterinary clinics and pet-supply stores.
— Kent Priestley, contributing editor