Food pantry helps to feed family pets

Twice a month, Ocean County 4-H members team up with volunteers from the Ocean County Animal Shelter Auxiliary to provide assistance with feeding pets at the Jackson Food Pantry.

Ocean County 4-H Club members have been tagging in front of Stop & Shop in Whiting to raise money to purchase food for the pet pantry. They have donated more than 650 pounds of dog food and cat food to this cause to date, according to a press release.

The purpose of the 4-H-sponsored Pet Food Pantry is to help families keep their beloved furry friends instead of taking them to a local animal shelter because they can no longer afford to feed them.

The Ocean County 4-H members have taken the community service project very seriously, realizing that in difficult economic times some families may be struggling to feed the humans and not have any resources left to care for their pets, according to the press release.

The 4-H members and some volunteers believe it is important to help keep the pets at home with the families where they belong and not force them into an already overcrowded shelter system.

The group has been asked to support a second pet food pantry in the eastern section of Toms River and is seeking donations of dog food and cat food, which can be dropped off at the Ocean County Agricultural Building, 1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River. To make other arrangements, call Helen Ferraro in the 4-H Office at 732-349-1227.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension. 4- H educational programs are offered to all youths, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. For more information, call 732- 349-1227 or visit the Internet website at