West Kelowna residents begin up Animal Meals Financial institution – West Kelowna Information

Pets go hungry, too

Two West Kelowna residents are on a mission to help those who might be struggling to feed their furry friends.

AJ Frey and fiancé Nicole Wilks started the Animal Food Bank to ease the stress for people who can’t afford to feed their pets.

“We collect food for basically anybody who has a pet and has to make that difficult decision of whether they’re going to eat or their pet’s going to eat,” said Frey.

“We all know the plight that’s going on with the homeless right now and all the politics involved, and when we move past that, they need love and affection, too, and so a lot of them have pets.”

Frey accepts cash and food donations at designated locations in West Kelowna and Kelowna. 

Frey and Wilks then visit organizations including the Central Okanagan Food Bank and Cornerstone Shelter to drop off the products. 

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, and there’s definitely been situations in my life where I’ve had to choose between whether or not I was going to feed myself that month or feed my pet, and I always chose my pet,” said Frey.

“Now, moving forward and not being in that position, it’s something that’s at the forefront of my mind and I think that if we can take that away from people so they don’t have to make that decision, it’ll help a lot.”

The West Kelowna Food Bank recently accepted a donation from Frey during a period where it was completely out of cat food.

“The whole food bank operates without any kind of government assistance, so it’s all community,” said operations manager Gary Lynch.

“We’re lucky in West Kelowna that we have the most giving community I’ve ever heard of, including in pet supplies.”

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