Feeding Hungry Pets

Pet food delivered to organizations in need
By Helaine Block, February 2022

In the fall of 2020, COVID-19 was strengthening its grasp and just about everyone was feeling the impact. As I sat in my car at a red light, along with my two loyal rescue dogs, Henry and Rosita, I glanced to my right and noticed a usually long line of cars snaking around the local food pantry. I had never seen so many cars waiting for food, which made me wonder—if people are struggling to feed themselves and their families, how can they provide food for their pets during these challenging times?

A Non-Profit is Born

Three days later, Kobe Henro was born, a pet food bank providing cat and dog food to hungry pets in need. A rather simple concept of delivering donated pet food from point A (donations from pet stores and pet food manufacturers) to point B (local food pantries). It took just a few months to establish a strong and steady flow of donations for our pantry partners. Once our supply began to exceed our demand, we extended our reach to offer food assistance to southern pet transports. With rescue partner relationships secured, when a Southern animal rescue transport drives north to the Boston area to drop off adoptable pets, we fill their van with donated pet food to help feed the hundreds of hungry pets they care for back home.

Our plan seems to be working and since our launch in October 2020, we have hand-delivered over 22,000 pounds of donated food, toys, collars, and leashes to pets in need. We are growing at a steady rate with plans to expand nationwide.

Behind the Name

I have been a dog lover since my toddler days and thanks to my mom, I have been blessed with that animal-loving gene, which I have graciously passed on to my three daughters. Dogs are family. I grew up with dogs and four wonderful canines have been an incredibly special part of my life, Koolie, Belle, Henry and Rosita. Koolie represents KO, Belle BE, Henry HEN and Rosita RO, hence KOBE HENRO. We are a non-profit organization in memory and honor of the wonderful dogs who have been a part of my life since the mid-1980s.

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We are a small yet mighty self-funded organization run by me and two canine assistants, Henry and Rosita. Soon we will be executing our formalized plan for expansion.

Our short time in the pet food bank business has confirmed that our plan is working well and is surprisingly rather simple to navigate. There is a surplus of pet food in the United States and our mission is to provide food to hungry cats and dogs in need. Rather than the extra food going to waste, we get it in the bowls of those in need. We never want a loving pet owner to have to surrender their pet due to financial hardship. To date, we estimate that we have filled over 66,000 bowls with food and plan to triple that number by the end of 2022.

Our heart-warming and gratifying journey has enabled us to make new friends and meet some amazing animal lovers who are truly changing the world.

If you are interested in being a part of our expansion as a donor, recipient or volunteer please reach out via email: info@kobehenro.org or via Facebook messenger or Instagram @kobehenropetfoodbank.

#kobehenrokares

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Photo: Guitafotostudio / AdobeStock

Helaine Block is the founder of Kobe Henro, a pet food pantry non-profit out of Sudbury, MA dedicated to feeding hungry dogs and cats in need.