Tonawanda News

March 18, 2013

New food pantry at St. John's is strictly for pets

By Michele DeLuca
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard, to give the poor dog a bone; when she came there, the cupboard was bare, And so the poor dog had none.” — English nursery rhyme

If Old Mother Hubbard had lived in Niagara County her dog wouldn’t have to go hungry, thanks to a new pet food pantry that opened Feb. 27.

The pet pantry is affiliated with the people food pantry at St. John de LaSalle’s Church on Buffalo Avenue and will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday. The people food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patrons of both pantries must sign up to receive assistance.

The founders of the pet food pantry, Zoraida Case and Paulette Coty-D’Antuono of Sanborn, have set up shop in a small building owned by the church, with plenty of shelves to store all the food they hope is donated. 

“Donations are key to the success of the program, Coty-D’Antuono said. “If we serve 10 people our shelves will be empty,” she said.

In the meantime, a vet practice from Lockport has joined forces with the pet food pantry.

Donner Creek Veterinary Clinic in Lockport, the practice that conceived of Pet Meals of Wheels in Niagara County, joined forces with the ladies Feb. 27, offering their support to the effort.

“We’re going to try to use our contacts with pet food manufacturers to obtain donations for the pantry,” said Grace Wingard, clinic manager. She said the Pet Meals on Wheels program, operated through the Niagara County Meals on Wheels, serves about 50 pets a week throughout Niagara County.

Coty-D’Antuono and Case hope to serve hundreds more pets through their pantry, providing they can obtain donations of pet food and cash to purchase pet food.

The pantry opened with a carload of pet food donated by Dunkirk Pet Supplies Plus.

The pair, both pet owners, say they opened the pantry because doing good takes their minds off the everyday challenges of life. Coty-D’Antuono has been assisting her son with his battle against cancer and Case has her own physical challenges and a grandson struggling with ailments as well. 

“It keeps us busy,” said Coty-D’Antuono smiled. 

Case nodded in agreement. 

“We want pets to be able to eat everyday like we do,” she said.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Niagara Pet Food Pantry • WHERE: St. John de LaSalle Church, 8477 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls • WHEN: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday • MORE INFORMATION: Call 692-1955