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Iams & VCA Charities Partner to Launch 6-Month Long Pet Food Distribution Program for Needy NY Pets at the Food Bank For New York City's Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem


~ Food Bank Supporter & Animal Lover, Kelly Bensimon, of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City, Cohosts Pet Food Program with Food Bank ~  

New York, NY. April 21, 2011 — In an effort to keep families together during these difficult economic times — humans with their furry friends — Iams and VCA Charities Pet Program have partnered to launch a six-month long pet food distribution program for needy New York pets at the Food Bank For New York City's Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem, at 252 West 116th Street. Manhattan.  Details of the pet food distribution program were announced today at a press briefing co-hosted by the Food Bank and Food Bank supporter and pet lover, Kelly Bensimon,  of Bravo's The Housewives of New York City.  Others in attendance included David Grossnickle, Director of Food Sourcing for the Food Bank; Jason Taylor, Manager, North American External Relations P&G Pet Care; Thom Niedergerke, Regional Manager, P&G Pet Care; Brandon Antin, Executive Director of VCA Charities, Food Bank pantry clients, and several four-legged friends (led by Chief, Ms. Bensimon's black lab mix puppy, who led the way to the pantry for the first official food distribution!).

Iams' generous donation of more than 15 tons of pet food for both dogs and cats, will be distributed  during the first week of every month on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, through mid-October.  Only pet owners who are registered pantry clients will be able to avail themselves of the free pet food.   In addition, VCA Charities is providing  several certificates for wellness checkups at their VCA hospitals in the New York City area for select pantry clients.

"In the midst of a jobless economic recovery, escalating food and fuel costs, today three million New York City residents are having difficulty affording food.  That certainly means there is little or nothing left to feed their beloved pets," said Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Food Bank For New York City.  "We truly want to thank the Iams and VCA Charities for recognizing the urgent need to keep families together and for helping our client's pets stay healthy and hearty."

Said Jason Taylor, Manager, North American External Relations P&G Pet Care,  “Iams is pleased to have the opportunity of partnering with VCA Charities Pet Program to help animals in need in the NYC area by donating dog and cat food to the NYC Food Bank.   We recognize the  reality that many families are struggling to keep food on the table and sometimes cannot afford to feed their pets.  It is Iams desire to help keep the family unit together and provide quality nutrition to the four legged family members of the NYC area.”

"VCA Charities is proud to partner with Food Bank for New York City and IAMS to provide 15 tons of pet food to their  Community Kitchen and Food Panty of West Harlem.  This amazing program will feed needy New York Pets.  The Food Bank For New York City provides food for 1.4 million New Yorkers and as you can imagine, many of those individuals have pets. It's our hope that this generous donation will help keep all family members together.  VCA Charities' Pet Programs have helped thousands of pets around the country and we hope to help thousands more through the Food Bank's Community Kitchen and Food Pantry of West Harlem," said Brandon Antin, Executive Director of VCA Charities.

Shelters across the country have reported that the economic strain has forced many families to abandon their pets.  Further, many families who refuse to give up their pets, are unable to provide the necessary care their pet require.  As the major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs, the Food Bank believes that this program can provide an added level of support for families in need and can help more families keep their pets at home, where they belong. 

The Food Bank is hoping that more pet food manufacturers and pet supply chains will follow the lead of Iams and VCA Charities and will step forward so that the program can be expanded to other locations throughout the five boroughs.  

About the Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 28 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, the Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, the Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. The Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. 94% of donations go directly toward food distribution, acquisition and programs in all five boroughs of New York City.  Learn how you can help at foodbanknyc.org.

About Procter & Gamble
Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®.

The P&G community includes approximately 127,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

About VCA Charities:
VCA Charities is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to end medically unnecessary euthanasia. Established in 2005 by the founders of VCA Animal Hospitals, VCA Charities has helped feed thousands of pets, provided free medical treatment, donated time and money to pet charities globally.  Please visit the VCA Charities website and blog to find out the most up-to-date information about VCA Charities and its programs at www.VCAcharities.org.

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