A local animal lover is distributing food to hungry pets all over South Yorkshire through her food bank organisation.
Your Pet Food Bank was set up by Alison Smith last April after she had heard anecdotally about people who were struggling to feed their pets.
Alison said: “I looked into what support was out there already and it didn’t really seem that there was a lot.
“We are doing as much as we can to help people, but I do have the fear that at some point we may run out of food.
“One thing I have found is that I was actually quite sheltered before. I saw an issue and wanted to try to tackle it. It opened my eyes to how much people are struggling out there.”
The organisation is entirely voluntary, and they rely on donations from the public to keep going. They don’t yet have charity registration which would enable them to access support from pet food manufacturers.
Alison said: “There have been a few setbacks – some of which we are still working through.
“I sold my car as it was too small for the donations. I got a bigger one, but the fuel expenses are getting difficult to manage as this is all voluntary.”
Another setback has been the cost-of-living crisis; many charities have spoken about a decrease in donations and Your Pet Foodbank is no different.
Alison said: “Donations have definitely been affected. More people are in need and fewer people are able to donate so it’s really bad on both ends at the moment.”
Currently, the foodbank is donating roughly 10,000 meals per month.
When asked about what advice she would give to any women wanting to set up an organisation of this nature, Alison said: “If anyone else wants to make a go of something, honestly just take the leap!”