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AniMeals Program to be celebrated February 18th

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The Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC), in conjunction with their new partner, The Angel’s Depot, are planning to celebrate at the Oceanside Senior Center regarding the Center’s AniMeals Program. Thanks to the support of an angelic anonymous donor, low income homebound seniors will be provided with food for their beloved pets!

The celebration will take place on Tuesday, February 18th from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. The HWAC AniMeals Program will be on-site at the Oceanside Senior Center along with The Angel’s Depot. The heartwarming union will provide pet food to an increased number of low income seniors thanks to a truly angelic donor. What is known is that the family of a former AniMeals volunteer, who passed away in 2013, gave an anonymous donation in her honor through the beneficial coupling of the two non-profit organizations.

AniMeals is a pet-food-on-wheels program that provides regular meals free of charge for the dogs and cats of homebound elderly and disabled people. The mission of the program is to help keep people and their companion pets together by eliminating one of the logistical and financial impediments to proper pet care. The program was created in 1984 at Helen Woodward Animal Center, initially serving just 10 clients. Today the program works with five area Meals-on-Wheels centers and many other organizations, such as Aging & Independence Services, to serve more than 250 pets throughout San Diego County. The program’s only limitation on expansion stems from necessary funding but the recent, unexpected donation provided an exciting new opportunity to partner with The Angel’s Depot.

The Angel’s Depot was founded in 2005 with a specific goal of meeting the nutritional needs of seniors who are at-risk for malnutrition and living with the anxiety of food insecurity. Senior Emergency Meal Boxes are provided to 900 seniors monthly, who struggle with an average income of $765 per month. According to the San Diego County Department of Aging & Independence Services, 50,000 senior citizens live in poverty in San Diego County and the numbers are growing with an aging Baby Boom population. Devoted to the overwhelming task of providing food for these seniors, the only missing piece seemed to be finding a way to provide food for their pets but Founder and Executive Director Susan Hall was determined to do it.

Much research has been conducted on the health benefits of seniors that have pets to love. Dogs and cats are able to provide a diversion for the elder that seems to give them an extra reason to go on living. The senior citizens that have pets at home have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They feel more secure in their home. They are more active due to activities like walking the dog and experience less depression because they have a constant companion to confide in. Overall, seniors with pets tend to live longer, happier lives.

Now, thanks to one very special donor who devoted her final years to the AniMeals program, The Angel’s Depot can at last provide for its seniors’ pets. What do you know, angels do live amongst us!

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