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Awesome PEC helps pet food bank founder ‘pay it forward’

PEC-Pet-food-bankBag by bag and can by can, Vicky Verner has been helping the County’s pets from going hungry. And the Awesome Foundation stepped up to help.

The Awesome Foundation Prince Edward County Pitch Party presented its quarterly $1,000 prize to Verner’s Pet Food Bank, to assist pet owners in temporary need of pet food and supplies.

Operating out of her home for a few years, Verner and volunteers have just recently set up a new home in the basement of the Hope Centre (First Baptist church), across from Giant Tiger, in Picton. It is open Wednesdays from noon to 3 p.m.

The pet food bank is open to residents in the county and surrounding communities. Verner notes the pet food bank is always in need of donations and has assisted about 300 pets.

Verner decided to start the PEC Pet Food Bank, as a way of ‘paying it forward’, with her daughter Shae-Lynn.

“She, as a teenager, learned valuable life skils, empathy and business skills along the way. She is grown and on her own now but she has taken those skills and built on the foundation.

An animal lover, Vicky says she’s found the need a few years ago when she was in need.

“My dog Suzie is a black lab/border collie mix who I rescued off the street. She is 14 years old now. Not so long ago, I was laid off from work and down to one income from two full-time incomes – with three kids and a dog.
She was a few months preparing for a new career and during that time visiting local human food banks.

“Human food banks periodically get a bag of dog or cat food here and there but not always. Scrimping, for my dogs and my next meal, I found our sister branch in Brighton that has been helping pets for about a year now, near the end of my hard times.

“Thankfully my situation changed after retraining and I found a job immediately. It was from that experience and after talking to many people in my community and through social media, that I decided that there is a great need of this service.

“Prince Edward County is a thriving in the summer months, which provides locals with jobs. However the winters are long and so are the unemployment lines. Also predominatly a retirement community, we see people on fixed incomes due to health and age.

If you wish to make donations, or volunteer, contact Vicky Verner at (613) 849-7477 or email verner_25@hotmail.com

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