Where It All Started:
It all started with Jackson & Jewels.
Two great dogs that I saw one evening, camped underneath the Morrison Bridge in Portland. They lived there with their people, in a realtively clean and orderly campsite. It was almost Thanksgiving. Although I didn’t realize it then, The Pong Fund was just beginning.
I stopped to ask how they were and if they had Thanksgiving plans. They said they did; they’d be celebrating the holiday at a shelter just up the street. And they said they were fine and needed nothing. Not for themselves, at least. But some dog food would sure be great. Really good food; could I get them some of that?
They explained that the shelters they frequented rarely had any pet food. But their dogs needed to eat something for dinner, so they all shared the same meals. It wasn’t healthy for any of them, but that’s just how it was. I said I could help, and the next day I returned with some Canidae dog food, treats, dog coats and beds.
And that was more than 10,000,000 meals ago.
Larry Chusid, Found and Executive Director
The Pet Food Bank:
The Pet Food Bank is the heart and soul of The Pongo Fund. A no frills warehouse packed with thousand of bags of super-premium and nutritious dog and cat food. Staffed by a volunteer driven team that numbers more than 100. It is a place filled with love. Love and food. Food that stands at the ready to be shared with anyone in honest need when they are temporarily unable to keep their own pets fed. Because when people must choose what to cut from their grocery lists, pets often are among those that suffer most.
And for those who can’t afford to keep their pets fed, the consequences are greater than just an empty stomach. Many pets will be surrendered to already overburdened shelters, many more will be abandoned. Finding new homes for these pets are never guaranteed. Families will be torn apart and lives will be lost, simply because there’s not enough money to buy pet food.
But that’s where The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank comes in. Because we’re solving that problem head on by providing emergency pet food assistance for when they need us most. When both they and their pets are hungry. Hungry people who turn to us by the thousands every month for help feeding their hungry pets when there is nowhere else to turn. Because their pets are family too. And by helping feed their pets, that means the people will have more food for themselves. Plus a few dollars remaining to pay for some of life’s necessities.
The difficulty of of keeping pets fed used to be a problem limited primarily to the homeless community. But not anymore. Because the hungry pets of the homeless are being joind more and more by the hungry pets of people who simply are having trouble making ends meet…middle-class folks pummeled by the economy, white-collar workers recently laid off; the unemployed, the underemployed, single parents, heroic victims of domestic violence, proud war veterans, the disabled, fixed income seniors and more.
Imagine a 82 year-old grandmother with a 16 year-old cat named Whiskers that is her only family. A cat who means more to her than anything else. Which is why she gives up her own lunch to feed Whiskers. At least that’s what she did before she found us. But now we provide cat food to keep Whiskers fed, so she can enjoy her own lunch to keep herself fed. And that 82 year-old grandmother? What if she were your grandmother?
And that’s exactly why we’ve created The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank; Oregon’s only full-time pet food charity. It’s a genuine gift for the entire community…lending a hand when times are tough by providing quality dog and cat food for the companion pets of anyone in honest need. And we’ve also been able to facilitate the spay and neuter for more than 1,000 of those pets. Vaccinations and veterinary care too.
With the generous support of a variety of suppliers including Canidae All Natural Pet Foods, The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank has provided more than 10,000,000 lifesaving meals for more than 100,000 hungry and beloved animals throughout 28 different Oregon and Southwest Washington counties. Allowing them to stay safe at home and out of the shelters. Because sometimes, a simple bowl of kibble is the force that both keeps a family together and saves the lives of the animals they love.