PetSmart Charities and Meals on Wheels American have collaborated on a program to provide grants to seniors and their pets. The Meals on Wheels Loves Pets program has $601,538 in grant funding to aid in nutritional services for seniors and pets.
The nationwide program can supply food, pet items, and grooming services in an effort to alleviate the burden of both financially and physically caring for pets, which may be difficult for some older pet owners. The goal of the program is to help pets remain in a home as long as possible with an elderly owner and for the owner to reap the benefit of pets.
According to research, pets improve seniors' mental health who may otherwise live alone and are more prone to depression. "Having the company of a pet not only makes homebound seniors feel less lonely but also improves their physical and mental well-being, helping them to stay happier, healthier, and more independent. Yet, nearly half of the clients receiving pet assistance from Meals on Wheels don't have anyone else to help them with their pet needs," said Ellie Hollander, CEO, and president of Meals on Wheels America. "[The partnership] with PetSmart Charities – makes it possible for us to continue to invest Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grants in local Meals on Wheels programs in 31 states to provide critical supplies, care and assistance."