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TCH hosting Pet Food Drive for those in need

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Dec 1, 2020

The Community House is collecting donations for pet owners in need heading into the holidays.

Now through Dec. 7, the public can drop off pet supplies and monetary donations to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. TCH Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall explained that it is the first time they have held the Pet Food Drive, which she initiated after speaking to other nonprofits.

“I found out that some people are having to surrender their dogs and cats and pets because they can’t afford to feed them,” she said, noting that the holidays can be especially difficult on one’s budget.

“Sanibel and Captiva people love their pets and animals,” Riska-Hall added. “So we just decided we would try to help out, so we’re serving as a collection site (for the Harry Chapin Food Bank).”

People can take part by donating pet food, supplies like cat litter or even toys.

“I’ll take anything that’s pet-related,” she said.

“When I talked to them, it’s primarily cats and dogs, but I know there were a few people who need bird seed,” Riska-Hall added. “And even if it comes in after the 7th, I’ll still drop it off at the food bank.”

People can also help with a monetary donation.

“We’re saying checks, but they can do cash,” she said. “Checks should be made out to Harry Chapin.”

As of last week, some donations had already been dropped off.

“It seems like most people are doing monetary donations at this point,” Riska-Hall said. “We did get some small bags of dog food. I don’t think I’ve gotten any cat food yet.”

To donate, people just drop off the items in the lobby.

“If it’s too heavy for them, someone can come out to their car and get it,” she said.

The community is encouraged to donate to the cause.

“Many of these animals also serve as mental health pets,” Riska-Hall said. “In these times, with COVID going on for so long, it would be really sad if they had to give up their one little bright spot.”

Bailey’s General Store is also accepting donations for charitable organizations. While not benefitting Harry Chapin, the items go to Lee County Domestic Animal Services and island nonprofits like PAWS.

For more information contact 239-472-2155 or teresa@sanibelcommunityhouse.net

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

Bailey’s General Store is at 2477 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.