Scottish SPCA to trial pet food at food banks for struggling families

Families toiling during the cost of living crisis will be able to collect food for their beloved pets at food banks across the country.

The Scottish SPCA is to deliver pet food to food banks across the country, as a growing number of people can no longer afford to keep their animals as part of a new pilot project.

Soaring bills have left some families unable to fill bowls for their beloved four-legged members of their households.

The charity’s Pet Aid initiative is designed to help people and pets struggling due to the cost of living crisis.

The scheme will see regular deliveries of pet food to food banks, with the aim of preventing owners feeling forced to give up their animals.

Calls to the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline to give up animals have more than trebled in the first half of 2022.

“We are expecting the problem to get worse,” said chief executive Kirsteen Campbell.

Pet food will now be available for those using foodbanks under a new pilot scheme.

“We’ve got 15% higher numbers of animals coming into our rescue centres and that’s now.

“The more we do to get ahead of the problem to help people stay with an animal – there’s so many benefits in that anyway – but we need to get ahead of it or else there’ll be so many animals in need.”

Thirteen food banks are currently signed up across 12 local authorities with hopes it can be rolled out nationwide.

They are:

  • The Access HUB, Glasgow
  • Strreetwork at Simon Community Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Levenmouth and Glenrothes Foodbanks, Fife
  • Perth & Kinross Foodbank, Perth & Kinross
  • Kirkton, Community Larder, Dundee
  • The Haven in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
  • CFINE Foodbank, Aberdeen City
  • Thurso, Caithness
  • Renfrewshire Foodbank, Renfrewshire
  • South Ayrshire Foodbank, South Ayrshire
  • Hamilton District Foodbank, South Lanarkshire
  • East Dunbartonshire Foodbank, East Dunbartonshire

“It will make a huge difference,” said Hamilton District Foodbank manager Isobel Graham.

“Before Covid, we had people that donated but it’s obviously a bit different now. In the last six months, we’ve been buying it in from local stores.

“Maybe 60%-70% of people coming in have a pet. We always ensure that we’ve got pet food and we can always offer people.

“If someone’s got a cat or a dog, and they’ve got a tin of corned beef, they would give it to their pet before they eat themselves.”

If you are a pet owner, and need help or advice, you can call the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline in confidence on 03000 999 999.

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