WESTON, Conn. When the economy took a turn for the worse a few years ago, the Weston Community Food Pantry saw an increase in residents looking for a helping hand. But what co-director Betsy Peyreigne didnt expect was an influx in pet food requests from needy Westonites.
I have a real soft spot in my heart for animals and when the economy tanks, animal shelters as a whole start to become overcrowded. So, when many of the users of the pantry started looking for pet food, I knew we had to do something, Peyreigne said.
The number of residents in need was just a handful per year until about three years ago when the number skyrocketed to more than 100 annually. Of those 100-plus families, she said, my best guess is that we probably need help feeding about 35 cats and 12 to 15 dogs.
For most, if not all of these families, that furry friend is your grip. When all else is falling around you, that four-legged family member greeting you at the door is what keeps you going during the day, Peyreigne said. When you are down on your luck, it can be so expensive to feed your animal, and the last thing we want to see is a resident forced to give up their pet.
The pantry has been helping the community for more than 20 years, she said. Because it operates solely on donations, she is asking for either canned or dry cat or dog food, monetary donations, or gift cards.
I just want Weston residents to imagine how expensive it is to buy your own groceries. Now, imagine how difficult it could be to feed your pet when money is tight, she said.
Donations can be dropped off at the food pantry on Norfield Road, in the same parking lot as EMS and the fire station. Residents can make monetary donations as well. Checks can be made out to the Community Food Pantry Inc. For more information, please email Peyreigne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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