EDGERTON (WKOW) -- Winter is just around the corner, which is a tough time for area food pantries and families in need. Organizations are seeing more and more pet surrenders, as families face tough choices between feeding themselves and their animals. But a Rock County organization is helping food pantries fill pet bellies.
In the past few years, food pantry organizers have seen a steady increase in need, especially in Rock County. Edgerton Outreach's food pantry serves up to 175 families each month, in a small area covering the Edgerton School District.
But it's not just human mouths to feed when times get tough. Edgerton is one of nine pantries partnering with "Friends of Noah" a group that fosters rescue animals and helps families feed and provide medical care for their pets.
"A really big need in this area [is] for making sure animals stay in their homes, and with the economic crisis that's going on in Rock County & the U.S. We're finding people are giving up their pets because they can't feed their pets," says Steve Servantez, president of Friends of Noah.
The non-profit, which was started about two years ago, delivers pet food to area pantries so families can pick up their furry friends' meals when they get their own food. Nearly half of all Edgerton Outreach customers use this service.
Friends of Noah has given out $300,000 pounds of dog and cat food.
Friends of Noah is getting more and more calls from people who can't afford to keep their pets and have no where to go with them as winter approaches. Servantez says it's especially difficult right now, because the Rock County Humane Society is only accepting a limited number of stray and surrendered animals.
On Saturday, Friends of Noah held a fundraiser-- K9 Carnival in Edgerton. It was a chance for dog owners to come together and celebrate their pets.