OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Food pantries for hungry Oklahoma residents are well known, but one organization works to feed some four-legged Oklahomans in need.
“I was always feeding strays, had food in my car all the time,” said Kim Pempin.
In 2009, Pempin and her husband, Mike, were taking food to Grace Homeless Mission to feed the shelter pet and mascot, Avalanche, each week.
“I just felt like God was just telling me, ‘You can do more than just feeding one dog at a men’s ministry,'” said Pempin.
That’s when Pempin started taking donations and gathering food. After filling up the garage and Mike’s workshop, the Pet Food Pantry of Oklahoma moved into a warehouse near Western and Wilshire in Oklahoma City.
“Amazing donors, grateful volunteers, all of that, we just continued to grow,” said Pempin
That love of animals has also inspired other Oklahomans to get involved with the program.
Bill Bond donated 100 pounds of dog food in honor of the 100 pounds he and his wife recently lost.
“We don’t want them to be in a shelter. We would like them to stay at their home and if we can help feed the little dogs or big dogs or whatever, we want to do that,” said Bond.
Officials say over 11,000 pounds of food goes to homeless shelters and low-income seniors who live alone with their pets each month.
“If we can provide them pet food, then they can get their own food and their own medical needs taken care of,” said Pempin.
The pet pantry is the only one of its kind in the Oklahoma City metro area, but Pempin says she has helped others and is working to establish new pantries around the state.
“There are so many more people that need the help, we are just touching a little bit of that,” said Pempin.
To learn more, visit the Pet Food Pantry’s website.