Urgent Food Donations Needed For Homeless Pets

Last year, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals program provided nearly 500,000 meals to the pets loved by homebound seniors, military veterans, homeless and low income individuals, helping these furry family members stay with their owners. With a fast-growing need throughout San Diego, this year, the Center has a goal to increase the number of bowls filled with nutritious meals to 1 MILLION! Throughout the month of March, the Center is urging  San Diegans to head to one of nearly 25 convenient locations throughout the county and drop off a donation of unopened dry or canned dog and cat food and contribute to the 2020 AniMeals Food Drive: Million Meals March.  

As one of the Center’s oldest programs,  AniMeals started 35 years ago when Meals on Wheels volunteers noticed homebound seniors were jeopardizing their own nutritional health by sharing their food deliveries with their beloved pets. Since then, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s AniMeals program has worked to fill this need and keep pets and their humans together, serving more than 7,500 dogs and cats yearly with delivery routes from Chula Vista to Oceanside.

“When it comes to seniors on a fixed income who are no longer able to leave their home to purchase their pet’s food, these AniMeals deliveries are an incredible blessing,” explained Sarah Jilka, AniMeals Supervisor. “Without AniMeals, many of the seniors, veterans and low income individuals we serve would not be able to keep their beloved pets with them. This would be a tragedy as these furry faces are often their only source of joy, companionship and reason to get up in the morning.”

AniMeals relies solely on the generosity of the public’s pet food and monetary donations and is continuously expanding its reach thus increasing the need for more contributions. Fortunately, there are many ways the public can support the program.



  • Buy a bag of dry pet food or case of canned food and drop it off at one of 25 drop off location.
  • Donate money for the Center’s purchase of pet food.
  • Ask for pet food donations in lieu of gifts at your upcoming birthday party, anniversary celebration or wedding!
  • Get your school or office involved and volunteer to collect everyone’s donations, then drop them off at Helen Woodward Animal Center.
  • Head to our AniMeals Amazon Wish List and purchase food or supplies to be delivered directly to our AniMeals program.
  • Spread the word! Encourage your friends and family to make a difference in the lives of other pet lovers in need.

Throughout the month of March, AniMeals will add 12 new convenient drop off locations including select First Republic Bank, Cal Bank and Trust and US Bank branches. Other sites include select Petco, Gelson’s Market and Kahoots retailers.

For a complete list of drop off locations, visit Learn more about AniMeals or Helen Woodward Animal Center by calling 858-756-4117 or stopping by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

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