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Meals on Wheels Rowan collects 1.3 tons of dry pet food, raises $17,560

SALISBURY — Meals on Wheels Rowan in August completed its annual “August is for AniMEALS” fundraiser and Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day.

Kim Hardiman of Hardiman Designs, Debbie Barnhardt of Barnhardt Jewelers and Lorna Medinger of Hughes Plumbing Supply worked together with Meals on Wheels Rowan to organize “August is for AniMEALS.” 

“August is for AniMEALs” is a monthlong campaign in collaboration with local businesses to collect pet food and donations to support the pet companions of homebound seniors across Rowan County who receive home-delivered meals. This year, Hardiman set out to collect 2 tons of pet food and $10,000 in donations.

“We are blown away by the support August is for AniMEALS received. We collected 1.3 tons of dry pet food, 864 cans of pet food, 130 packages of treats, and 82 miscellaneous pet toys and pet care items,” Hardiman said. “We surpassed our fundraising goal and raised $12,000 for AniMEALS and $5,560 for human meals.”

Meals on Wheels Executive Director Cindy Fink said the organization delivers pet food to participants along with daily meal deliveries so they don’t have to worry about it themselves.

Many of these seniors either cannot afford to purchase the pet food they need, cannot get out to shop, or may have trouble lifting heavier bags or cans of pet food,” Fink said. “The food collected during August is for AniMEALS will be able to provide over six months of food for the pets of these homebound seniors.”

The $12,000 raised during the campaign and a $5,000 grant from Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities will be used to purchase veterinary vouchers for wellness checks, vaccines, grooming and to buy additional pet food if needed. 

“We are so grateful for all of the local businesses who served as drop-off sites for pet food donations,” Hardiman said. “Several of the sites offered prize drawings for those who donated at their locations.”

This year’s drop-off sites were Barnhardt Jewelers, Hughes Plumbing Supply, Lazy 5 Vets, Dr. James K. Jolly, DDS, Stitchin’ Post Gifts, Hot Diggity Dog, Oxford + Lee, Rowan Animal Clinic, West Rowan Farm and Garden, and Ace Hardware. 

“This year’s goal of $10,000 raised was ambitious, and we are delighted to have surpassed this goal and raised $17,560 in total,” Fund Development and Marketing Manager Alexandra Fisher said. “The money we raised for human meals will feed two home-delivered meals participants for a year. We are so grateful for all of Kim, Debbie and Lorna’s hard work that made all this possible. We are looking forward to what we can achieve next year. Kim’s mantra is ‘go big or go home,’ and she did just that.” 

For more information about the AniMEALS program, visit www.mowrowan.org/animeals-pet-food-program.

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