New Opportunities, Inc. is in need of a truck and driver for approximately 1 – 1.5 hours on Wednesdays, to voluntarily pick up 2-3 pallets of pet food from Bozzuto’s in Cheshire and deliver it to NOI headquarters in Waterbury. Many of the homebound seniors who depend on the nutritious meals provided by Meals on Wheels have household pets dependent on pet food from Bozzuto’s. In an effort to keep these pets well-nourished, Animeals, a pet food delivery service launched by New Opportunities, Inc. delivers pet meals monthly at no extra charge to the client.
“Securing the commitment of a company with a truck to pick the pet food up from our supplier ensures NOI is able to continue providing an invaluable service to the homebound in our region,” says Senior Nutrition Director, Lisa Labonte.
A companion pet is sometimes a homebound senior’s only ‘family’ member. Thus, keeping a beloved animal healthy and content boosts mood and morale in general; a great benefit to any shut-in. Since the homebound cannot readily get out to the store to shop, another benefit of Animeals is that delivery of the pet’s meal ensures 100 percent of the adult meal for that day is eaten by the adult. Supplying pets with adequate daily meals makes it far less likely that the owner will give tidbits of food away to their pet, reducing their own nutritional intake.
Meals on Wheels recipient Mr. Sylvester is grateful for the free pet food provided by Animeals, as are Jake, his 13-year-old German Shepard and Sly, Sylvester’s 12-year old Black Lab. “My dogs are big eaters – they love the food – and there’s always more than enough,” he says.
Mr. Wright adopted Sky, a precocious one-year old feline when she was still a kitten. He was delighted to learn about Animeals when the service became available through Meals on Wheels and depends on the monthly deliveries of canned and dry cat food for his pet. “She is a good companion,” says Wright.
The proud owner of Max, a 6-month old Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix; two young felines, 1-year old Peaches and 1.5- year old Whiskers, Ms. McCann’s days are predominantly occupied by caring for her three pets that she likens to caring for children. Playfully energetic as adolescent cats and dogs tend to be, they’ve exceptional appetites to satisfy. Ms. McCann is appreciative of the pet food she receives through Animeals. “They prefer the soft food but like both,” she says.
Those interested in obtaining the additional Meals On Wheels service for their pets, provided through Animeals, should request it from the deliverer. For more information or to volunteer, call Elder Services at (203) 757-7738 or email Elder@NewOpportunitiesInc.org.
The mission of New Opportunities is to improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged individuals by providing the necessary resources to increase their standard of living, foster self-improvement, and maximize self-empowerment. The organization is a community action agency serving Waterbury, Meriden, Torrington and 27 surrounding Connecticut towns, offering a variety of social service programs designed to eliminate poverty and assist people in need.
Meals On Wheels home-delivers two meals a day up to seven days a week to seniors, age 60 and above, who live within the Greater Waterbury and Greater Danbury areas. Those under 60 years of age with special conditions may also qualify.
Meals on Wheels is funded by donations from clients, municipalities and other supporters. State and Federal funding is provided through the Western Connecticut Area Agency on Aging, Inc. Animeals, through Meals on Wheels, is funded in part by the Banfield Charitable Trust with support from Bozzuto’s Distributors.