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Inflation impacting our local pet food pantry

Posted at 3:52 AM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 09:25:57-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Inflation is hitting everyone and unfortunately, we’re starting to see the impact it’s having on our local nonprofits, agencies that depend on donations. For the Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry, a slow down in donations has them worried for their upcoming distribution.

“We’re hurting,” said Robin Ackling, President of the Board of Directors for the Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry. The pantry is there for pet owners when they need it most but now, it’s them who needs help.

This non-profit was started in 2009, through a grassroots movement founded by Cindy and Ken Frye.

“They had actually a soup kitchen for people and they would see these people, oh they have their pets with them, okay well let’s bag a little pet food for them. So it started from there,” Ackling said.

Over the years this group has gone from giving out food in a parking lot to a handful of pet owners to distributing over 3,00 pounds of pet food every month. Unfortunately it seems runaway prices have caught up with the pantry.

“I think the price of food has gone up so much, that the people that can afford to feed their animals can’t afford to buy extra for other people’s animals,” Ackling said.

The pantry hold distributions the second and fourth Saturday of every month and see an average of around 150 pet owners per distribution, but this upcoming distribution has them nervous.

“We’re extremely low. We should have all of the shelves full, plus all of the bins full, plus two extra bins full to be comfortable for the next distribution,” said Ackling. She says right now, they have about half as much of what they need for this upcoming Saturday, but are still around 1,500 pounds short of pet food.

Ackling says they know price increases are eating away at people’s budgets, and in the past they’ve had to cut down the amount of food they can give each pet owner to make sure everyone gets something. She says often times, their distribution is the last resort for pet owners who’ve fallen on hard times.

“We see a lot of regulars and yea they depend on us,” she said.

If you’d like to make a donation to the Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry, you can send them a message through their Facebook page or stop by their offices in Southwest Bakersfield.