Pet Food Pantry helps owners in need

Sharida Rejon, Features Editor

The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, totaling an approximate 150,000 pounds of pet food donated to the community.
Cindy Frye, president of the Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry, was inspired to found this organization after seeing the vast amount of animals in need. “I started this organization by my church, the Bridge Bible Church, partnered with the Salvation Army. I was serving with a small group at the Church Without Walls in Oildale,” said Frye. “We were serving the people, and I noticed that there were a lot of animals – dog and cats – running around, following the people who were in the line for food. After a few months of watching that, my husband and I bought some bags of pet food and my pastor said that he would hand them out to the people if they needed it for their pets.”
The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry’s mission is to “keep families together and pets out of the shelters” by providing emergency supplies of pet food to individuals going through financial hardships and low income families.
“It’s easy for people to get food for themselves. There are a lot of places that have food available if somebody needs it, but there are no places that have it available for your pet if you run out of money,” said Frye. “Some people are barely making it, and if an emergency happens, they find themselves in a difficult situation and they come see us. We are here to help them.”
In addition to aiding families and individuals, the pantry donates pet food to various organizations around the community such as Meals on Wheels, several churches, senior complexes of low income, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which provides assistance for homeless people.
The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on its volunteers and the help from the community. The pantry’s distribution days and monthly bagging events are worked entirely by volunteers donating their time. Besides the volunteers’ work, the help from the community is also crucial to the success of the pantry.
All the food is donated through red collection barrels that can be found at various locations in town, such as the Petco stores and the Self-Serve Pet Spas, among others. Also, some of the food is acquired from “pet food drives,” hosted by businesses and schools.
“We have been so blessed with this organization, with people who want to come help and people who help us with food. The support we have received is amazing,” said Frye.
According to Frye, the most rewarding part of being part of this organization is being able to help the community. “Pets are very special to many. For some, it’s their only family member,” she said. “We want pets to stay with their family instead of being turned into the animal shelters or abandoned.”
The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon to provide dog and cat food to those in need. For volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, visit or call 661-369-1222.