ANDERSON — Three tons. That’s how much pet food Mitzy’s Morsels Pet Food Pantry handed out during its March distribution.
“We went through over 4,000 pounds of dog food and almost 2,000 pounds of cat food,” said Mitzy’s manager Shannon Clark.
That’s up from about 3,500 pounds at February’s distribution.
“It depleted our resources,” Clark said. “Luckily, we’ve gotten some more donations in. I’m just holding my breath.
“One woman just cried,” she added. “She said, ‘I am so grateful you’re helping me. I just lost my job and I didn’t know what I was going to do.’ ”
That same week of March, 1,135 people signed up for unemployment, up 2,602% from the 42 initial claims filed a week earlier.
“To be honest, I’m expecting a whole lot more in two weeks (with the next Anderson distribution),” Clark said. “People are losing their jobs and even if you’ve got unemployment, that doesn’t cover everything. It’s really a bad situation for people, so we try to alleviate that worry for them.”
Following social distancing guidelines, the pantry modified its procedure by turning it into a tailgate. Clients stayed in their vehicles as volunteers shuttled food out of the building to waiting cars.
The organization are hosting a distribution at the Elwood City Building from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Their next distribution in Anderson is set for April 17 and 18 at 3205 W. 25th St. They also distribute food through Operation Love and the Pendleton Library’s Read ‘n’ Feed program.
If you need help before their next distribution you can contact them through their Facebook page or by calling 765-623-5011. A volunteer will bring you a supply of food.
Both the Animal Protection League and the Madison County Humane Society have closed to the public, but are still making adoptions by appointment, and both have seen an increase in adoptions.
“We’ve had a ton of adoptions, probably close to double what we typically do, which is awesome,” said Nikki Moore, Humane Society shelter manager.
She attributes the increase to people who wanted pets but didn’t think they had the time for one now working from home and discovering they have the time.
You can view the animals online, fill out an application, then set up an appointment to meet.
While adoptions are up, both shelters report surrenders to be about the same.
“I’m a little surprised by that,” said Maleah Stringer, executive director of the Animal Protection League. “I would expect that to come a little later.”
In preparation for the possibility of a surge in surrenders, APL is actively seeking fosters willing to give a shelter animal a temporary home to open space in the shelter.
“I always suggest to people when they’re like, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself...why don’t you foster an animal and get it out of the shelters?” Clark said.
For now, Stringer said APL has enough supplies for the most part, but staffers are struggling to find the bleach they use as a disinfectant. At the Humane Society, they have had to cancel fundraisers they traditionally hold in the spring. They rely solely on fundraising and donations.
Mitzy’s one-year anniversary is this month.
“We were really wanting to throw this great big party for all of our clients, really do it up good,” Clark said. “I guess we’ll have to do that at a different time.”