Lighthouse partners with Michigan Humane to help local families in need and their pets, too.
Food insecurity is on the rise across the country, including right here in Oakland County. Lighthouse has been working nonstop since the COVID-19 pandemic began to expand its food distribution services and meet the needs of thousands of local families who are struggling to get the food they need each week.
Sadly, pets often get lost in the shuffle. And that’s where Michigan Humane comes in. Every month since February, Lighthouse and Michigan Humane have exchanged anywhere between 2,000-4,000 pounds of pet food and supplies, including dog food, cat food and cat litter. The food comes straight to Lighthouse from the Humane Society’s Judith Kaplan Phillips Pet Pantry in Detroit as a donation and Lighthouse volunteers help to distribute it across our community.
“We hope our partnership alleviates some of those difficult decisions families have to make about prioritizing their food spending,” said Anna Kohn, Director of Food Programs for Lighthouse.
Lighthouse does not view pet food any differently than other specialty items such as diapers and cleaning supplies; anyone on the distribution list can request the pet food or supplies they need.
Kohn regularly communicates with the Michigan Humane to arrange a pickup or delivery whenever Lighthouse is down to about 20 bags of food left.
“Michigan Humane was glad to have a distribution partner in the northern end of Oakland County as one of the underserved areas for pet supply donations,” she said. “And we’re grateful to be one of their popular distribution sites.”
Matt Pepper, President and CEO of Michigan Humane, said his organization is proud to be a partner in the incredible work of Lighthouse.
“We know that people who are struggling often have pets,” he said. “No family should have to be faced with surrendering a loved pet – pets are family and our lives are better because of them. In terms of food insecurity, often times people will choose to give up a meal to feed their beloved pet rather than feed themselves. Michigan Humane is pleased to partner with Lighthouse to provide critical food for the pets of the families they serve and help keep families together. It is partnerships like this that truly support families, inclusive of the pet, and elevate the quality of life for everyone.”
Over the last several months, the partnership has become popular and pet food a highly sought-after item. The demand is only expected to increase as we head into the holiday season and the cold winter months.