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edge staff writer


Donations needed for local animal food bank

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BANGOR - When the sun is shining and thermometer exceeds 80 degrees on a humid Maine summer day it's easy to forget one's troubles. But the empty shelves at the Furry Friends Food Bank, or FFB, located at the Eastern Area Agency on Aging, is a daily reminder to the staff just how gloomy these days can be for area pet owners.

"Pet food isn't cheap," said Carol Higgins Taylor, director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. "We know people are sharing their meals with their animals. I did it when I was doing my undergrad degree. I'd open a can of tuna for myself and my cat."

Taylor said the shelves have gotten bare at the food bank because the need is just so great.

"Seniors have less money, and as funding for government programs is cut, food prices and medication costs go up, those seniors need more pet food from us," explained Taylor.

Until recently, private donations along with grants from Petco and damaged boxes of pet food from companies like Wal-Mart have been able to keep the FFFB well stocked. But now the food bank needs the public's help to continue supporting the 400 or so senior citizens and adults with disabilities who use the program. Debra Bell of Bell Imaging & Design in Hermon regularly gives a portion of her photography proceeds to FFFB.

"The relationship between FFFB and its clients is crucial to pet welfare and people care. I believe strongly in their mission," said Bell. "They can use all the help they can get."

The FFFB assists pet owners in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Washington counties. So any and all donations are needed including opened bags of food, cat litter and monetary donations.

"We repackage it [opened food] and give it away," said Taylor. "We'd love to have bags of dry food because it goes a long way for us. We'd also like wet cat food and we can always use litter since most of our seniors have cats."

Donations can be dropped off at the Eastern Area Agency on Aging at 450 Essex Street in Bangor Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or online at


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