Ann Arbor, MI (September 28, 2021) — 14.6% of Washtenaw County residents are currently food insecure, up from 10.7% pre-pandemic, according to data from Food Gatherers.

“We don’t want people choosing between feeding themselves and feeding their pets,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, CEO and President of the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV).

HSHV, Community Action Network (CAN) and Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels (AAMOW) have recently partnered to help feed the needy furry residents of Washtenaw County. Over 2,000 pounds of pet food were delivered last week, the inaugural week of the partnership. CAN and AAMOW then distributed the food to their respective clients.

Since 2008, HSHV has run a free pet food pantry: Bountiful Bowls and has longstanding partnerships with human-focused charities Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels (YMOW) and Food Gatherers.

“But not everyone knows about us,” says Cameron Greig, HSHV’s Bountiful Bowls Manager. “So we’re thrilled to join with CAN and AAMOW, too. Through partnerships with other nonprofits, we can meet the needs of the community—and we can all get food to where it’s needed the most.”

Together with partner programs, HSHV distributed over 42,000 pounds of pet food to Washtenaw County residents in 2020, and in 2021, has served close to 250 families prior to these new partnerships. All food for the free Bountiful Bowls pet food pantry is donated.

“Research shows that companion animals aren’t just beloved by many families, they bolster our mental health,” says Hilgendorf. “And during the pandemic, when many have been painfully—and sometimes dangerously—isolated, pets have been a saving grace. Folks shouldn’t have to give up their animals simply because they’re going through hard times. In fact, that’s when they need them the most. Our goal is to keep loving pets in loving homes. We’re grateful to CAN and AAMOW for helping extend this mission.”

Those interested in donating to Bountiful Bowls are encouraged to drop off dry pet food donations or purchase food through a Wishlist. Bags of food can be opened and taped up, but must remain in original packaging and be within 3 months of the expiration date. Food can be delivered to HSHV at 3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor.