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Feeding the Hungry During the Pandemic and Beyond

When the deadly coronavirus pandemic hit, and threatened the lives of both people and animals, American Humane sprang into action to protect and help our best friends in what would soon prove to be their worst times. Like every other business or organization in America, and across the globe, rescues and shelters were struggling to maintain basic services and care for their animal residents. Thousands of animals were being left without homes and facilities were in desperate need of general supplies. Horrendous natural disasters including hurricanes and wildfires further heightened the dire situation.

In response to the overwhelming number of calls received from animal rescuers, shelters and first responders, we launched the Feed the Hungry COVID-19 Fund to feed and care for animals across the country who were abandoned as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Although shelters in big cities across the United States reported high adoption numbers, rural shelters were instead seeing an influx of animals as pet owners struggled with the financial impacts of COVID-19 as well as the illness itself. Our fund aimed to raise much-needed resources to help shelters and rescue organizations that were not only fighting to keep the lights on, but also to keep critical supplies like food stocked.

Because of our generous supporters, and the help of Jean Shafiroff, American Humane board member, national spokesperson for the Feed the Hungry campaign and renowned philanthropist, we provided more than 100 grants across 43 states, supplying one million meals to animals in need – a great achievement.

“I am honored to stand by American Humane and call attention to the critical need to help pets across the country. Animals will forever hold a special place in my heart and I am grateful that we reached our goal of one million meals, making a tremendous difference for animals that are struggling throughout the nation. Thank you to all who supported this worthy cause.”

– Jean Shafiroff

Although life is now returning to a sense of normalcy, shelters and rescue organizations are stretched thin and still need our help. These animals rely on humane groups to give lifesaving shelter and relief from the desperate circumstances they face, especially during times of crises and natural disasters. To that end, we are continuing our efforts to feed and protect more of our precious animal friends through what will now be the “Feed the Hungry Fund” which will help dogs, cats, horses, farm animals and even endangered species. To date, we have provided 1,166,250 meals across 46 states and 1 territory.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, one of the recent recipients, offers pet services and resources to improve the lives of people and animals in under-served neighborhoods. Our grant will help supply its pet food pantry, assisting low-income pet owners with their pet needs to help improve the health of the pets and keep them in the home that loves them.

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