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(l-r) Executive Director Rochele Watson, Cindy Elzey from Rich’s Auto, Board Member Nancy Scott, Founder Pam Tracy, Board Member Dale Dunmire-Smith

New to Waynedale but not new to Fort Wayne, the non-profit Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry (FWPFP) celebrated their silver anniversary on Saturday, July 11! The 10-year anniversary was commemorated with a FUNraiser on the patio of Pedal City which included music, raffles, FWPFP Merch, dogs, camaraderie and cake, with no cover charge! Many of the area residents stopped by to enjoy the event, of which, most even brought their furry family members to enjoy the event as well!

“Pedal City always supports animal welfare and they have been very kind to us over the years,” said Executive Director, Rochele Watson. She continued “Coming into the role of Executive Director, on the cusp of an organization’s decade in service, has been the perfect opportunity to look back and take in all the growth, changes and service data to prepare us for the next 10 years. Founder Pam Tracy and the volunteers that helped form Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry, with a mission to save animals’ lives, are still with the organization and I think that is a testament to the dedication they provide on behalf of our furry friends.”

Throughout the pandemic FWPFP has served over 30,000 lbs. of food to individuals, helping over 8,000 pets to stay at home with the families that love them. When asked about how COVID-19 has impacted the organization, Watson said, “The nature of COVID-19 became a huge hurdle for us immediately, when we saw that it had spread into our state. Because we serve the elderly and immunocompromised and because we have those populations as volunteers, we had to shift everything we do to a quick and efficient, assembled package to get into our patron’s hands with the most limited contact possible. We also opened our services up for additional distributions and service times once the first round of closures occurred. We’ve seen several waves of new faces since the start of the pandemic.” She continued “This year has brought several challenges to Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry, our neighbors and the community. With each challenge presented, YOU… Our supporters, friends, concerned citizens and empathetic hearts have risen to the occasion and met our needs to continue our work!”.

On behalf of Rochele Watson, Founder Pam Tracy and the Board of Directors, Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry would like to thank H.O.P.E. for Animals for their support and partnership very early on and Pet Supplies Plus, Dee and Linda Mattley, John Lantz, Rich’s Auto, Waynedale News, WANE TV, WELT Radio, Dale Dunmire-Smith, all donors, donation partners, Indy Humane, and the community for their generous support! FWPFP will be adding ‘Pantry Pop-Up Sites’, in Allen Co., on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7pm. To stay tuned please visit their Facebook page fb.me/fortwaynepetfoodpantry/

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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