Thanks to three generous grants, beginning in late October 2015, the New York City Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, held three cat food giveaways for volunteer Certified Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Caretakers. In total, the NYCFCI provided approximately 700 caretakers with more than 6,000 cases of canned food and 500 12-pound bags of dry food.
Held in Queens, grateful caretakers from across the New York City area arrived for each giveaway at their pre-registered times to load up with free food for the felines in their care. They came by car, on foot, and even by taxi. Each participant left with lots of cat food, a big smile, and words of appreciation.
“Thanks for doing what you do with the food,” said one caretaker from a Staten Island non-profit that feeds approximately 60 community cats twice a day, every day. “It’s so important, and one of the most overlooked problems in the feral cat community—sometimes there just isn’t enough money to feed the cats, only to TNR them.”
Jane Hoffman, President of the Alliance, credits Certified TNR Caretakers with “really doing all the labor, mostly on their own dime. So this is the way we try to help them.”
At the first two giveaways, made possible through an anonymous donation and held on October 24 and December 12 of 2015, a combined total of approximately 3,900 cases of Innova canned cat food were distributed. Packets of EVO Wild Cravings treats were also available. At the third giveaway, held on January 30, 2016, about 2,100 cases of Wellness wet food were made available thanks to a grant from the Jackson Galaxy Foundation and more than 500 bags of 9Lives dry food were also provided, thanks to an ASPCA grant.
Kathleen O’Malley, the NYCFCI’s Director of Education was pleased that the first giveaways were able to be scheduled “just as caretakers were getting ready for winter, because we recommend that caretakers feed wet food for the extra nutrition during the colder months.” Apparently community cats across the city were also pleased. After each giveaway, the NYCFCI received many notes of thanks from the cats themselves.