PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PetSmart announced today it has begun to deliver the first of nearly 90 initial semi-truck loads of pet food through its historic Buy a Bag, Give a Meal* program, where it is giving a meal to a pet in need for any and every bag of dog or cat food purchased through Dec. 31, 2017, in its more than 1,500 stores and online at PetSmart.com and PetSmart.ca. Through this philanthropic program, PetSmart said it expects to make pet food deliveries throughout the rest of 2017 and well into 2018 to distribute the expected 60 million-plus* meals to hundreds of locations across North America at local shelters and rescues, as well as to food banks and pantries where pet food is a rare offering.
Nonprofit partner PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, is the recipient of the significant pet food donation and is teaming up with GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program and Feeding America. These renowned national nonprofit organizations are helping to effectively distribute the pet food directly to pets in need across the U.S.
The Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program was launched March 1, 2017. Since then, as shoppers buy pet food bags at PetSmart, the retailer donates a meal to a pet in need and has already generated more than 20 million meals to date. With the 60 million meal goal, the program is the largest philanthropic initiative in PetSmart’s 30-year history. As a point of reference, using a standard six-inch pet food bowl, 60 million meals would span from New York City to Los Angeles and back again – covering more than 5,500 miles.
Throughout the past two weeks, the first three of nearly 90 semi-trailer trucks loaded with the donated pet food were delivered to pets in need. The initial shipment included 750,000 meals of pet food split evenly between dog and cat food and was delivered to Feeding America affiliates, Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, and Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona in Tucson. A third truck load was delivered to Rescue Bank facility, St. Paws, and adjacent shelter, National Mill Dog Rescue, in Peyton, Colo., a suburb of Colorado Springs.
The pet food meals are expected to be on the shelves of hundreds of food pantries across the Denver and Tucson metro areas, while also feeding hungry pets at rescues and shelters in the Colorado Springs region.
“We are thrilled to be getting these initial meals to pets in need across Colorado and the Southern Arizona area,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “We know pets in need are not only in shelters and rescues across North America, but also with their families who are served by food pantries and meal programs. We are pleased to work with PetSmart Charities and its partners, Feeding America and Rescue Bank, and very excited to reach pets in need in 67 additional cities across 28 states beginning in August.”
“When our partners at PetSmart shared this big idea to give back a meal for every bag purchased, we were overwhelmed by the generosity and thrilled to take on the challenge of distributing such a huge volume of pet food – an expected 60 million meals – to help pets in need across North America,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “Our organization is dedicated to helping pets in need like no other. We delivered more than $34 million in funding support directly to animal welfare organizations in 2016 alone and with this massive pet food donation with our partners, Rescue Bank and Feeding America, we look forward to the impact these meals will have on pets in need in cities across the U.S.”
PetSmart Charities™ of Canada is also partnering with four renowned animal welfare organizations in Canada to distribute the anticipated 3.6 million meals* to pets in need across the country. Canadian deliveries from the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program are expected to begin this fall.
To help PetSmart with the production of the massive amount of donated pet food, it is manufacturing the bulk of the donated pet food through its vendor partner, American Nutrition, Inc., a leading manufacturer of American-made pet food and treats.
Rescue Bank distributes pet meals to its network of more than 1,900 shelter and rescue groups across the country. Pet food, especially cat food, is consistently the largest request Rescue Bank receives from its shelter and rescue partners. As well, the annual pet food budget for a shelter or rescue can be a significant line item, and the donated food can offset pet food costs and allow these nonprofit organizations to redirect the funds to help pets even more.
Feeding America is a network of 200 food banks that provides food and groceries through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs to more than 46 million Americans each year. According to Feeding America, one in seven Americans are served by its network of food banks and pantries. As well, as reported by the American Pet Products Association’s 2015-16 national pet owner survey, nearly 45 percent of the U.S. households have dogs and about 35 percent have cats as pets.
Eligible human services organizations in the U.S. that wish to be considered to receive pet food donations from PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program are encouraged to connect with their local food bank using the food bank locator at www.feedingamerica.org. Animal welfare organizations are asked to apply online at www.RescueBank.org.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate more than 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as pet-focused services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart® Doggie Day Camp® and pet adoption. PetSmart, together with non-profits PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, invite more than 3,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 7.4 million adoptions – more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. The company’s portfolio of digital resources for pet parents includes PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, OnlyNaturalPet.com, Pet360.com, petMD.com, Pawculture.com, AllPaws, an online pet adoption platform that helps potential pet parents find the perfect pet to adopt based on their home, family and lifestyle, as well as BlogPaws, the world’s first pet blogger and influencer network. Through these digital platforms, PetSmart offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart launched its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™ program in March 2017. For every bag of cat or dog food purchased March 1 – Dec. 31, 2017, PetSmart will donate a meal to pets in need and expects to donate more than 60 million meals in 2017*.
*Ends 12/31/17. 5 oz. dog food, 1.5 oz. cat food donated to PetSmart Charities to feed dogs and cats in need. See details at petsmart.com/giveameal. The actual number of meals donated is based on dog and cat food bags sold. The meal donation estimate is based on historic sales for similar time periods. No guaranteed amount. Rescue Bank and Feeding America will help distribute a large portion of the pet food donation in the U.S.
About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row -- placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org
About PetSmart Charities™ of Canada
PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for more than 25,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores, PetSmart Charities of Canada provides funding to registered charities aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 89 cents of every dollar donated and has become a leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, donating nearly $12 million to date. PetSmart Charities of Canada is a member of Imagine Canada, and a registered Canadian charity independent from PetSmart, Inc. To learn more, visit www.petsmartcharities.ca
About Rescue Bank
Rescue Bank, a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, operates on the national food bank model to community-based animal welfare groups that typically lack access to resources. Rescue Bank recognizes that these smaller, less-visible groups represent a substantial portion of America’s animal rescue resource.
Rescue Bank works with name-brand suppliers to deliver donated pet food for both the ongoing needs of more than 1,900 animal welfare organizations and the immediate needs of communities after disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fires. Since establishing its national network in 2011, Rescue Bank has delivered over 200 million meals of nutritious, wholesome pet food.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.