The need for our Animal Food Bank Foundation services is great. In 2020 we went through over 50,000lbs of dry food to over 2,000 clients in three urban centres. We receive requests weekly for help with vetting, some life and death situations. We get asked for help with pet-friendly housing, temporary fostering, and informational clinics.
We are at a pivotal point where, to not only grow nationally, but to meet the need mentioned above, and address the root causes of food and housing insecurity, we have to create our own funding and revenue generation model. I can get on a soap box about this for hours but readers digest version is food insecurity is a symptom of something else, and so we would like address the something else and end the cycle.
Our model is meant to be repeatable and scalable to meet need wherever it is. We believe in do good to receive good and model this for our clients. We want to change life circumstances for our clients (the pets) and their guardians – this could be medical care for the pets, assistance with pet friendly housing, emergency fostering for pets who’s guardians are going into addictions treatment – the list goes on and on.
As you may or may not know (although if you follow our Animal Food Bank Foundation on Facebook you’ve likely seen me complain about it often), we are not eligible for funding. The reason is three fold. The first is because only food banks who service people are eligible for food bank funding – our client is, and will remain to be, the pet. The second is because we are not, and will not become, jan animal welfare agency. We do not police or enforce welfare (although we work with organizations who do when we see a need). Our mandate is to intervene before it becomes a welfare issue and this often means education of the pet owner on a variety of pet ownership topics. The third, it that we are not, and will not become, a Registered Charity. Although the status of Charity may open the door for us to be eligible for some small value grants, those grants come with heavy administration requirements, rules, and a multitude of challenges that, coupled with the rules around the operation of Charities per CRA, would essentially cripple our ability to pivot quickly and fill gaps as we find them, and would not help us achieve long term change. Add to that animals are not a priority for funding, and it’s a whole thing. If the Charity model for animals, as it stands, worked, we wouldn’t be here.
Because of this, and because I would VERY much like to champion change around the narratives of non-profits and charity, I am going for a different model. We will create our own funding – that will in turn help us fund growth and expansion of services, and help other organizations like ours along the way. We are a registered non-profit organization and will remain so, but we refer to ourselves as part of the Social Good Sector. Immediately, the perception shifts and we are now asked simply, “how can we help you champion change?”.
The answer is simple, Join our Pet Club.
For the cost of one latte a month, $4.99, you will be welcomed into our inclusive pet club full of member specific deals and savings offering you far more value than your monthly membership fee. In turn, you can feel good knowing that your membership fee is used to ensure the Animal Food Bank Foundation can continue to do good.
From the bottom of my heart, our teams, and the pets and their families we help, thank you.
Animal Food Bank
AFB Pet Club