When the St. Charles Humane Society board of directors met in 2019 to discuss new projects and goals, they had no idea how crucial their decision would be.
“We projected out goals and projects and helping in the parish for 2020,” Jackie Boudreaux, SCHS president, said. “We knew food was already distributed to the needy, and we thought of the many people who urgently needed help and may need pet food too. As the board of directors for the humane society, we advocate for the protection and humane treatment of all animals, especially in our community.”
The board – comprised of Boudreaux, Melissa Doyle, LeeAnn Matherne-Blaine, Christine Trevett and Ongelle Clouatre – decided to partner with Matthew 25:35 Ministries, a food ministry of the St. Charles United Methodist Church, and help those with pets who were in need of pet food.
Matthew 25:35 works closely with the church, United Way of St. Charles and Second Harvest Food Services to serve the community and supply shelf food as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, desserts and bakery items.
“Once a month as volunteers, the St. Charles Humane Society distributes pet food to the residents that need help,” Boudreaux said, adding the society has been so for a year now. “The outpouring of gratitude for the free pet food is so rewarding to us, as we know we are helping those residents feed their pets.”
Boudreaux said the plan to collaborate for the pet food give-a-ways came before the pandemic but coincided perfectly with a time where many residents suddenly and unexpectedly became furloughed or laid-off from their jobs.
“The pandemic has hit so many in need, and we know many residents who have lost their jobs truly appreciate our help,” she said. “Every month the line of cars is very long as residents reach out for help. We believe giving to our community is an act of kindness, knowing that those pets feel the impact of the pandemic too.”
Mary Anne Schindler, president of Matthew 25:35 Ministries, said the collaboration with the SCHS has truly helped many people.
“So many of the clients have pets, and those are their little babies,” she said. “So to be able to get food to feed them … they are ecstatic.”
Boudreaux said the SCHS will continue to offer the free pet food as long as they are financially able to do so.
“Thank you to the residents and to the businesses that support the humane society for giving us the ability to do what we’re doing to help,” she said.