“He who feeds a hungry animal, feeds his own soul.”

This Charlie Chaplin phrase became the mission statement for Pet Food Bank Lakeside.

Pet Food Bank was started over two years ago when Julie Wittmann first moved down to Lakeside. COVID was here and knowing that the shutdowns were going to impact so many families in the area, she started seeing grassroots groups start distributing dispensas to help feed families. Julie wondered, what about their pets? The families would either short change their own food to share, or not be able to feed the pets at all, and possibly turn them out on the streets to try to survive.

For those of you who have pets, you know how important they are. For those who don’t have pets, they are constant companions for those who have little outside contact, they provide warmth on cold nights, they provide protection, they instill laughter when playing, and help children develop a sense of responsibility. Losing a beloved pet because you can no longer feed them is heartbreaking.

Pet Food Bank still operates out of donated space in a garage, and with the help of a local shelter, The Ranch, they are able to purchase dog and cat food at wholesale prices. Initially Pet Food Bank was aligned with several organizations providing dog and cat food along with dispensas to families in need. As time went on, one of the partnerships with Food Bank Lakeside continued to identify and help those with food poverty. They now provide pet food to over 1,200 pets a month who are with the families they provide dispensas to. Additionally, Pet Food Bank also serve another 200 family pets each month.

Pet Food Bank is 100% operated by volunteers and all donations go into buying the pet food. They have 12 volunteers who meet twice a month to break down 25 kilo bags of food into smaller allotments. Distribution of the pet food goes to the families that Food Bank Lakeside teams have vetted and pick up orders weekly for the communities that they service. Additional distributions are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Exceeding the rate of inflation with food, Pet Food Bank has seen the cost of pet food rise almost 30%, now costing around 30,000 pesos a month. Pet Food Bank is a separate entity from Food Bank Lakeside. They exist solely on private donations. It is easy to help by donating to the Pet Food Bank Lakeside and spreading the love

You can donate through Foundation for Lake Chapala Charities https://lakechapalacharities.org (they accept PayPal, credit card, check, money order, and wire transfers with US tax receipts). 

Cash Donations, just email Julie and she will make arrangements to make a pickup of pesos, juliejwittmann@gmail.com


July 2022 Issue

El Ojo del Lago – Home Page

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

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