black and brown leather padded tub sofa

Serving Love - One Pet At A Time

"Who Feeds A Hungry Animal Feeds His Own Soul."

We believe food scarcity shouldn't separate families from their pets.

~Charlie Chaplin

From Concept to Community:

The Pet Food Bank Lakeside Story

Hi, my name is Julie Wittmann and I am the founder of Pet Food Bank Lakeside.

I remember it clearly, I had just moved down from Portland, Oregon and Covid shut downs were happening everywhere. I knew I wanted to be part of the pet advocate community down here but the brakes were on for volunteering. I spoke to a couple local vets about what they thought the biggest need would be and they all agreed food for the pets. I spoke with Syd Sullins at The Ranch (a local dog rescue) and they were afraid dogs would be turned out to the street when families had no money to buy or share food with their pets. I then turned to my neighbors to ask how best to provide food to those in need.

We started driving around to the barrios and handing out dog and cat food that I had repackaged from large 25 kilo bags. We went to the malecons to hand out food but I knew the families most needing it were not there.

Eventually several grass root groups started forming to take despensas to families in the outer villages on Lake Chapala. Covid put them under pressure to put food on the table and certainly food for their beloved pets was a challenge.

Food 4 the Soul, FoodBank Lakeside, Project Solidarity, Poco o Poco, and Operation Feed were just a few. They all agreed adding pet food to the despensas was a great idea. With the increased need, I asked for help repackaging the pet food and several volunteers came to help. Local restaurants, Manix and LaBodega, would also have nights were they gave away meals and we provided pet food to be distributed on site. A connection with Poco o Poco was made and we sent food to them to distribute as they went through the villages.

As time moved on, several of the grass roots groups disappeared and a real partnership developed with FoodBank Lakeside. With their local volunteers they saw that it wasn’t just the impact of Covid, but there was a true food poverty issue lakeside. We now send pet food to the families they are helping each week.

We have also connected with CreSer, which serves lunches to 500 kids a week, to distribute the pet food to those with pets at home. In addition, we have been coming to one of their lunch sites about once a month to teach the kids and adults about proper pet care. We hope to be able to do the education classes at Poco o Poco to add to the pet food distribution around San Pedro. We also inform them about free clinics for medications and/or spay neuter that are happening in their areas.

We continue to serve families from Ajijic to San Pedro. We are contacted often to help others as well and, if we have inventory, we do.

Click Here to learn more about the foundation on which Pet Food Bank Lakeside has been built and our vision for the future.

Convenient Donation Options

*A tax receipt is available through Foundation for Lake Chapala Charities to our USA donors.

**Don't miss the option to sign up through FLCC to be an automatic monthly donor to Pet Food Bank Lakeside!

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