Faith Temple Food Giveaway expanding to pet food

Positively KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People line up for food every Friday thanks to the Faith Temple food giveaway at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds. But this week, the food giveaway expanded from people to pets, and there’s even a new delivery service.

Meet Mittens and Bella. Two fur babies who received a month’s worth of free food delivered right to their door.

“Money is tight especially with COVID, not having a job right now it’s hard so this just helps me to get my pets, my companions, the food that they need,” said pet food recipient Jane Behnke.

Jane Behnke owns Mittens and Bella. She’s also a volunteer with the Faith Temple food giveaway, but today Behnke is the one who needs help feeding her pets.

“My pets are my life. My pets are my kids. I treat them like they’re my four legged kids,” said Behnke.

“If you go just over there, they’ll help load you up,” said Josh Hays with the Faith Temple food giveaway.

The Faith Temple food giveaway teamed up with the 211 Helpline Center, United Way Worldwide, PetSmart and Door Dash to make this delivery event happen.

“We were offered an opportunity to do pet deliveries so we were so excited, this is our first venture because we know the importance of pets in our individuals lives and we want to make sure they’re served as well,” said Betsy Schuster with the Helpline Center.

“We have about 1,800 pounds of food being delivered ranging from wet food to dry food focusing on cats and dogs,” said Hays.

DoorDash picked up all of that food in a matter of minutes for delivery all over the city.

“They just receive text messages to say there’s a pick up opportunity,” said Schuster.  

The drivers get paid their normal delivery rate, but there’s nothing normal about this first time effort to make sure everyone can afford to feed their pets.  

“This food really is more than just food. Pets are part of the family and if you’re not able to feed a pet, that’s devastating, that’s heartbreaking,” said Hays.

The people getting the help want corporate donors and local volunteers to know that the food is appreciated.

“It means a lot to us, telling them thank you, it’s not enough,” said Behnke.

Josh Hays with the Faith Temple food giveaway says the pet food giveaway might become a monthly event, but that decision hasn’t been made yet.

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