By HEATHER WALTERS
Pet owners who were either quarantined this past year due to COVID-19 or who were facing financial struggles from the pandemic received a special gift from FoCCAS, Friends of the Colleton County Animal Shelter.
The non-profit group has initiated the FoCCAS Food Pantry, a dog and cat food pantry program that is helping to support pet food needs for Colleton residents who are struggling because of the respiratory virus.
“Many people found it hard to pay for rent, utilities and even food. Although they loved their pets, their financial situation made it hard to provide for them,” said Sarah Miller, vice president of FoCCAS and a history professor at the University of South Carolina Salkehatchie campus in Walterboro.
The food pantry idea began back in April of 2020, when an anonymous donor gave $500 to FoCCAS so that its volunteers could buy bags of dog food and cat food. That food was then put into local food pantries, so that it was available to pet owners who were in need. One of those food pantries is located at the Bethel United Methodist Church Food Pantry in Walterboro. Other food pantries in the Colleton County area that disperse donated cat and dog food are at Edgewood Baptist Church, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and St. Jude’s Church.
The FoCCAS Food Pantry program has become so large that current FoCCAS President Jeannette Neal now delivers pet food to each of the above churches at least