North Country Animal League has started NCAL Meals, a needs-based pet food assistance program that removes the logistical and financial burden of providing a nutritious meal for family pets.

Through the program, a supply of pet food will be delivered once a month to applicants’ homes that have applied and been approved for the program. To be eligible, participants must be facing financial strain or have physical limitations that make it difficult to leave home and have no one else to turn to.

The pet food program aims to keep pets with their owners and reduce the number of stray, surrendered and abandoned pets due to financial hardship.

“With one in four Vermonters facing food insecurity right now, we want to make sure that pet owners in our area have one less thing to worry about. We want to prevent them from having to make the heartbreaking decision of choosing between feeding themselves or their animals,” says Carlee Brion, North Country Animal League’s operations director.

NCAL Meals is an extension of the group’s onsite pet food shelf, which started in April to respond to Vermont’s growing unemployment rate due to the pandemic. Since April, the shelter has distributed 3,459 pounds of dog and cat food to local community members in need.

The program depends on donations of unopened dog and cat food and litter. Drop-off donations at North Country Animal League in Morrisville, Dogs Etc. in Stowe, Shaw’s Supermarket in Stowe, and Tractor Supply in Morrisville.

If you need assistance, call (802) 888-5065 or email info@ncal.com. Anyone in need of immediate assistance can pick up a prepackaged cat or dog food bag at North Country Animal League on Route 100 in Morrisville, Tuesday through Saturday, 1-5 p.m., or from Lamoille Community Food Share in Morrisville, Mondays-Fridays, 9-11:30 a.m., or Saturday from 9:30-11 a.m.

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