Pets are part of the family; you couldn’t imagine living without them. For some families this can be a serious predicament they have to face: a hungry companion you can’t feed or give them up. Most people don’t choose to give up their pets but they might have to because of economic hardship. If you would like to help families in this position, have you ever considered starting a pet food bank?
Terry May and Susan Fritz did just this in Brevard County, FL. They founded Space Coast Kibble Kitchen to help families struggling with financial hardships keep their pets. Terry and Susan have teamed up with Cynthia Koppler, Bright Paws Pet Food Bank by Bright Star, and have decided to share their helpful 10 step guide for starting a pet food bank in your community.
- Create a Plan. Cost: $0
- Get Incorporated by going to your local county clerk’s office and file for Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofits Cost: $30-125
- File for 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Status, try to find an experience non-profit accountant to help. Cost: $400
- Set up Your Business, plan on storing food at your home or find a business willing to donate space and also set up a low-cost phone system. You will also need to set up a checking account for your business. Cost: for MagicJack phone system: $39.95; $19.95 annual renewal fee
- Build your Brand and Start Marketing. Estimated cost: $75 for stock art
- Build an Online Community; always remember social marketing is free. Cost: $0
- Hold a Kickoff Fundraiser to Recoup Your Set-up Costs; work with local businesses willing to donate. Cost: $0
- Spread the Word with PR to local newspapers, radio and TV stations. Cost: $0
- Partner with Others if there is more than one local food bank; it can diminish abuse of the system. Cost: $0
- Distribute Pet Food to Qualified People by having applicants register and sing a form stating this assistance in necessary.
Total cost: Priceless!!
Space Coast Kibble Kitchen and Bright Paws recently hosted its first distribution day and helped 109 families keep their four-legged friends.