PetSmart has announced that the first of four massive pet food donation waves is underway in Charlotte and other m major cities, thanks to its philanthropic Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program. For every bag of dog or cat food purchased online or in its 1,500-plus stores through Dec. 31, 2017, the retailer will donate a meal to a pet in need. Through this historic program, PetSmart expects to donate 60 million meals to pets in need at hundreds of shelters and rescues across North America, as well as human food banks, pantries and meal programs, where pet food is a rare offering.
To get the food to those in need, the retailer is working with nonprofit partner PetSmart Charities, which is teaming up with GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program and Feeding America®, two renowned national nonprofit organizations, to deliver this massive pet food donation immediately to pets in need across the U.S., as well as animal welfare agencies in Canada.
Over the next four weeks, a total of 92 semi truckloads will arrive in 70 cities in 31 states and three Canadian provinces carrying 17 million meals – more than 3.6 million pounds – to help feed hungry pets in need across North America.
PetSmart launched the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program in celebration of its 30th anniversary, and with the expected 60 million meals donated under this program, it is the biggest philanthropic campaign in its 30-year history. As a point of reference, using a standard six-inch pet food bowl, 60 million meals lined up beside each other would span from New York City to Los Angeles and back again – covering more than 5,500 miles.
“The Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program is simple. Shoppers can buy any bag of dog or cat food, any size, any brand, and we’ll donate a meal to a pet in need,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “Together we have already generated nearly 30 million meals and are confident we’ll hit our goal of 60 million meals. We’re just getting started with this first wave of truck deliveries, with three more massive semi truck deliveries planned into 2018.”
Expertly Distributing the Massive Amount of Pet Food to Hundreds of Locations
PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, will take on the distribution of the massive amount of pet food donated by PetSmart and is dedicated to quickly and efficiently getting the pet food to hungry pets in need across North America. Rescue Bank will help allocate the donated pet food to animal welfare organizations across the U.S., and Feeding America will disperse the donated pet food to food banks, food pantries and meal programs. In Canada, four large animal welfare organizations from across the country, some who partner with or operate their own local pet food banks, will distribute the donated pet food.
“When our partners at PetSmart shared this big idea to donate a meal for every bag of dog or cat food purchased, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and thrilled to take on the challenge of distributing such a large volume of pet food to help pets in need across North America,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “This program enables PetSmart Charities to continue our mission of helping homeless pets in need and connecting people and pets and keeping them connected. Supporting shelters and rescues is a big part of what we’ve done every day for more than two decades, and Buy a Bag, Give a Meal also allows us to help families in need by providing much-needed pet food, helping to keep pets with their families and out of shelters.”
During this first big pet food delivery wave now underway through Sept. 14, 92 semi trucks will deliver 17 million meals – more than 3.6 million pounds – to shelters, rescues and food banks across the U.S. and Canada. Three similarly sized truck deliveries are expected later this year and into 2018.
“We are pleased to team up with PetSmart Charities, which serves a major role in our Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program,” said Cohen. “PetSmart Charities is expertly getting the pet food to pets in need across North America. We are thankful to their team and their partners at Feeding America and Rescue Bank, for moving swiftly to effectively get the food to hungry pets that need it the most in hundreds of local markets across the continent.”
The pet food is made at PetSmart’s vendor partner American Nutrition Inc. (ANI) in Ogden, Utah, where semi trucks filled with 50 pallets each of donated pet food will roll out every weekday now through Sept. 14 for this delivery wave. Each weekday across the six weeks, trucks will leave ANI with more than 561,792 pet food meals on board totaling nearly 109,700 pounds.
Click here for a list of cities and nonprofit partners that will receive the pet food donated during the August and September truck delivery wave from PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program.