REGION – Senior Solutions has been awarded a $20,000 grant from Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities to expand their existing “Foxy Fund” to provide emergency veterinary care and pet food for Meals on Wheels recipients with pets. Senior Solutions was one of only 27 grants awarded nationally, and the only one in the northeast.
“We are incredibly excited about this opportunity,” said Outreach Specialist Thom Simmons. “In April we will be working out the logistics in a test pilot with the Springfield Meals Center, so clients in Andover, Chester, Perkinsville, and Springfield with pets should keep watch for information in their meal deliveries. Once it is operating smoothly, we will offer to expand it to other towns across southeastern Vermont by working with the other meals centers. This will greatly transform our existing Foxy Fund program and help many of our clients keep and care for their pets.”
Vermonters have the highest pet-ownership rate in the country at 71%, and many think of their pets as family members. Studies have shown that pets positively impact both the physical and emotional health of seniors in significant ways, especially those at risk of social isolation. Pet ownership may not only stave off loneliness, but can also reduce blood pressure, provide mental health benefits, and offer unconditional love and acceptance. Unfortunately, many people on fixed incomes have difficulty keeping up with the rising costs of owning a pet.
The Foxy Fund was established in 2019 as a result of a bequest by a client whose life was changed by having a pet. To read more about this story or donate to the fund, please visit www.seniorsolutionsvt.org/giving/the-foxy-fund/.