In the November issue of WDJ, I wrote an article (“What a Waste!) about the many ways that pet food gets wasted at every level of production and marketing – and a few ways that thoughtful people are combatting that waste, particularly at the retail level. I hope that dog owners and those involved in animal rescue will look for and share other ways that perfectly good but unsalable pet food can be saved from landfill and donated to needy animal shelters and rescues.
Just after our press deadline for the November issue, I learned about the efforts made by a Southern California chain of pet supply stores to make sure that wholesome but unsalable pet food ends up in the possession of animal guardians who really need it — and who might not be able to keep their pets without it. Chris Nakagawa, CEO of Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies, a chain of 13 stores, told me about the company’s collaborations with with Meals on Wheels West and the Torrance-South Bay YMCA’s Home Delivery Program to provide food for the pets of homebound seniors and other clients.
Meals on Wheels West learned that some of their clients were sharing their donated meals with their pets, rather than benefitting from the nutritious food, themselves. Adding quality pet food to the deliveries they made to pet-owning clients made sense. Centinela stepped up to provide that food – and reached out to one of their vendors, Gamma Plastics (makers of containers), to provide reusable plastic pet food storage containers, which are given to the Meals on Wheels West clients. Centinela collects from its stores wholesome food that might otherwise be wasted (food from torn bags or that is nearing its expiration date), and provides it to Meals on Wheels West, who fills the pet-owning clients containers when they make their regular food deliveries. (Also, First Care Animal Health has promised to provide mobile medical care including shots and flea medication to clients’ pets.)
Centinela Feeds also donates food that would otherwise be wasted to the Torrance-South Bay YMCA’s Home Delivery Program, so that those clients will receive a steady, free supply of pet food for their beloved companions.
The YMCA’s Executive Director Bob Shafer said, “We are thrilled and honored by Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies’ meaningful contribution to the elderly in our community, many of whom rely not only on the meals the Y delivers to sustain them, but sometimes even more so on the comforting presence of their pets. This unique collaboration allows us to join our strengths to give our seniors nourishment and peace of mind.”
Are you aware of efforts made by other retail outlets to make sure that perfectly good pet food from torn bags is not wasted? If so, please share the good news!