Covid triggers surge in demand for pet pantries

Pet pantries
(Image credit: Getty)

Pet owners across America have been turning to pet pantries in order to put food in their four-legged friend’s bowl during these uncertain times. For many it’s meant they no longer have to make the choice between feeding themselves or their beloved pets, providing a vital service throughout this global emergency. 

When the pandemic first began, people were emptying the shelves and stocking up on anything and everything they could get their hands on in preparation for the worst. From medicines and toilet roll, to dried pasta and long-life tinned food, everything seemed to be running out – and fast! 

However, not everyone had the luxury of buying extra supplies. As businesses closed and jobs were lost, the US experienced a surge in demand for food pantries – especially those that also supplied pet food. 

One pet food pantry in Edgewater, Chicago, had 600 new households register with them from the 15th of March to the end of May. To put that into context, board chair of Care for Real pet food pantry Nancy Meyerson, said “that’s almost as many clients as we registered for all of 2019.”

Another nonprofit pet food pantry in Richmond Heights, Ohio, has continued to offer local pet owners huge lifelines by giving out week’s worth of food every month to those most in need such as the elderly, those who have lost their job, or are on low incomes. 

“It helps out all the animals. It helps out the parents. They don’t have to give their dogs away… (or) put them to sleep”, explained owner Sherie Coffey. 

And that’s the most important thing to remember. If you need help feeding your pet, you shouldn’t feel like your only option is to give them up or put them to sleep. Speak out as there is help out there. 

Chloe Petrylak

Chloe is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, who has more than ten years’ experience in creating animal-focussed content. From National Geographic to Animal Planet, Chloe’s passion for creating fact-filled features all about wildlife and the environment is evident. But it’s not just wild animals that Chloe’s fascinated by. Having written more than 75 articles for PetsRadar - and having her very own four-legged friend by her side - it’s no wonder that her love of dogs (and, of course, cats) has grown exponentially.  

Her website,, and social media pages - @ChloeMayWrites on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - showcase her knowledge through daily facts and trivia tidbits. For example, did you know that snails have teeth?!