Monday, January 24, 2011
Statistics from Dakin's first full year of full-service operations in the entire Pioneer Valley are now available. To celebrate the successes of our first year, I'll spend the next few blog entries walking you through individual programs and their achievements in 2010.
Dakin's Pet Food Aid programs began in March 2007 with an arrangement with the Amherst Senior Center to deliver pet food along with Meals on Wheels. In that first year, we distributed approximately 500 pounds of food. As recently as 2009, Pet Food Aid delivered a little more than 3,500 pounds of food, thanks to new collaborative efforts with other senior and survival center agencies.
But last year's food distribution blew the doors off our previous records: Dakin delivered more than 20,000 pounds of pet food to people in need in 2010!
We helped a broad range of folks--housebound elders, individuals with disabilities, low-income families, and people facing emergencies like house fires--through collaborative arrangements with more than half a dozen human service agencies. Both of our Leverett and Springfield adoption centers served as pet food banks, helping keep animals at risk of being surrendered safe at home with their families.
Here's how it all breaks down:
Amherst Senior Center Meals on Wheels: 2,263 pounds; Amherst Survival Center Senior Grocery Box Delivery: 617 pounds; Amherst Survival Center Pet Food Bank: 3,120 pounds; Belchertown Senior Center: 485 pounds; Highland Valley Elder Services Meals on Wheels (Northampton only): 2,781 pounds; Franklin Area Survival Center: 3,153 pounds; Northfield Food Pantry: 4,858 pounds; Leyden Woods Community (Greenfield): 652 pounds; Northampton Survival Center (started December 28, 2010): 140 pounds; Pioneer Valley Red Cross: 200 pounds; Leverett and Springfield Adoption Center walk-ins: 2,300 pounds.
Without safety net programs like Dakin's Pet Food Aid, many more animals--and people--in our community would be at risk of homelessness. Allowing an individual or a family to re-allocate money they would have spent on pet food to pay for groceries, medical bills, or heating oil helps keep families safe and together.
What's coming up in 2011? You'll notice that our partnership with the Northampton Survival Center didn't begin until the last week of 2010. We estimate the Center will distribute as much as 1,000 pounds of pet food each month, leading to an additional 12,000 pounds of food in 2011.
Where does the food come from? Most of it comes from people like you. You can make a gift to the Pet Food Aid programs securely online. You may also donate sealed bags of pet food (we are unable to use opened bags) to either of our adoption centers. We thank you for your generosity!
A special thank you to The Amherst Club for making a gift that helps us purchase much of the food for the Amherst-area programs. If you want to help the Club keep making this gift, be sure to attend their fabulous "Love Notes" concert on Sunday, February 13th. Proceeds from this event help fund projects like Dakin's Pet Food Aid programs.