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Meals-on-Wheels participates in "SEASON OF SUPPERS"

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Annual Pet Food Drive helps feed Hungry Pets this Holiday Season

Each year, The Banfield Charitable Trust, in partnership with Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) and Banfield, The Pet Hospital®, helps feed hungry pets during the holiday season with its annual "Season of Suppers" campaign, a national pet food drive.

The drive runs Sunday, Nov. 1 through Thursday, Dec. 31. The "Season of Suppers" campaign, now in its fourth year, aims to feed pets of homebound seniors who receive meals from Meals-on-Wheels.

This year, Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties is participating in the annual event for their "Ani-Meals" program.

This program, which began last February, aims to help the needy homebound take care of their companion animals—primarily dogs and cats.

Donated pet food is delivered by volunteers on the first Saturday of each month.

"It is an added benefit to our home-delivered meal program.

"We want to ensure that our clients are getting the proper nutrition through daily meals, and not sharing those (meals) with their furry friends," said Amy Jackson, Meals-on-Wheels director of development.

The Banfield Charitable Trust, through its "Season of Suppers" campaign, raises monies to help local meal programs.

Each year it awards grants through We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) program.

During the 2008 campaign, the Trust raised $42,000 in monetary donations, which funded more than 50 WALOP grants.

Meals-on-Wheels was a recipient of a WALOP grant this year for the first time.

This year the Trust hopes to double its monetary donations to fund, or start, new pet feeding programs nationwide.

"Season of Suppers" touc-hes many people’s hearts, and it is a joyful time for everyone involved," said Dianne McGill, executive director and chief executive officer of the Banfield Charitable Trust.

In addition to the money for WALOP grants, the campaign also collected thousands of pounds of pet food that local Meals On Wheels programs distribute. Banfield alone collected 13,000 pounds in 2008 at its main campus in Portland, Ore.

Across the country, more than 750 Banfield hospitals act as food collection donation sites.

It goes without saying that keeping pets as nutritionally healthy as their owners is critically important. In more cases than we can count, the "Season of Suppers" campaign has made that possible—and a home is a much brighter place when the whole family gets the nutrition they need." There are three ways to help make the 2009 "Season of Suppers" campaign even more successful:

1. Purchase pet food and place it in the "Season of Suppers" donation bin at a local Banfield Pet hospital.

There are two locations directly benefitting Meals-on-Wheels: Burleson, located at 12930 South Freeway and Mansfield located at 1551 Highway 287 N. Items suggested are for dogs and cats that are easy to transport, such as small bags and cans.

2. Donate money at Banfield Pet hospitals or directly to Meals-on-Wheels.

You may give online at www.BCTSOS.org or at your local Banfield hospital.

Or, to Meals-on-Wheels at www.servingthechild renofyesterday.org by clicking the "donate now" button. Your donation of $30 will help Meals-on-Wheels feed one pet for an entire month.

3. Volunteer to deliver pet food once a month. Meals-on-Wheels delivers donated pet food the first Saturday of each month.

Currently, the "Ani-Meals" program is serving Cleburne, Burleson, Waxahachie, Ennis and Palmer with plans to expand into other communities after the first of the year. Meals-on-Wheels is a community-based, non-profit organization serving the homebound elderly and disabled residents throughout Johnson and Ellis Counties for more than 32 years. If you are interested in Meals-on-Wheels services or would like to be more involved with the organization, contact Meals-on-Wheels at 817-558-2840 in Johnson County, 972-351-9943 in Ellis County, or e-mail info@mow jec.org.

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