In communities around Chicago, residents on a limited income are forced to make difficult choices every day. One in 10 neighbors doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from. Others are struggling to afford prescription medicine or rent. Pets may be members of the family, too; sometimes they are the only family a person has.
At Friendship Pet Food Pantry (FP2), our goal is to remove some of the financial stress by ensuring that our neighbors aren’t forced to decide between caring for themselves and caring for their companion animals. We do this by providing high-quality pet food and supplies to help folks keep their beloved pets during hard times, so they are not abandoned or surrendered to already over-crowded shelters.
FP2 operates as a volunteer-run program of The Friendship Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and poverty in area neighborhoods. We provide meals to an average 60 dogs and 110 cats per month (distribution takes place the third Saturday of every month, from 9 to 11 a.m.). Additionally, we have referred dozens of pet owners to Tree House Humane Society and PAWS for low-cost spaying and neutering.
Through generous donations from individuals and companies throughout the region, FP2 was able to expand services in 2017 to include flea-and-tick treatments for our dog clientele. The number of people who walk through the doors each month continues to grow, as does our need for your support.
FP2 was founded in October 2013, seeded by a generous donation from the Banfield Charitable Trust and Royal Canin. Dara Salk, a staff member in the 47th Ward office, and local resident Betzi Poole spearheaded FP2’s launch (read more about our founding).
In addition to Dara and Betzi, the core volunteer committee includes Lori Barsztaitis, Mandy Bernstrauch, Christine Cupaiuolo, Melissa Sobota, Lori Stein and Mary Wulffen.
FP2’s mission is to help pet owners facing financial challenges keep the promise they made to their pets to love and care for them forever. We aim to reduce the number of dogs and cats surrendered to shelters or abandoned each year because their owners cannot afford food or veterinary care.
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