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GCBHS Launches a Pet Food Pantry with a Little Help from our Friends

If you are a pet person, like Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS) staff member, Kim Carrier, you understand. "When they meet you at the door, tails wagging with unbridled joy, it’s the best feeling in the world," says Kim. "We can do no wrong in their eyes and they love us no matter what." For people living with a mental illness, having a pet can reduce stress and provide comfort.


Sometimes, though, our clients are put in situations where they cannot afford to purchase the food or litter their pets need. It can place a terrible burden on someone who feels forced to give up their pet because they do not have the resources due to circumstances beyond their control.


And that is why Kim helped launch the GCBHS Pet Food Pantry.


Kim is a fixture at the #GCBHS building on Madison Ave., serving as the CEO Assistant & Administrative Coordinator. Everyone on staff knows about Kim's love for animals and her menagerie of furry, scaly, and sometimes slimy friends! "Since I have the reputation as the go-to for animal questions," says Kim, "many care managers come to me asking about getting pet food for their clients."


According to Kim, Cincinnati does have a couple of pantries, but often they do not have enough food and give out small amounts. 

"The thought of our clients having to get rid of their pet because they couldn't afford a $15 bag of food, just didn't sit right with me."

                                                                                                      Kim Carrier - GCBHS Staffer


So in 2023, Kim launched the pantry to fill in gaps when clients had difficulty buying food for their pets.  For the first 9 months, Kim relied on donations from our staff, as well as their family and friends but the demand outweighed the donations.  


That's when GCBHS Board member Colleen Lindholz stepped in. Colleen works for Kroger as the President of Health. She reached out to some of her connections and was able to secure donations of dog and cat food to supply the pantry.  Kim says that thanks to Colleen's help, "We can now help more clients until they can get connected to an outside pet food pantry on an on-going basis."

                                                                                                     

We would like to thank our community partners, The Kroger Company, Colleen Lindholz, and all the additional people who continue to make the GCBHS Pet Food Pantry a reality.  Their efforts are making a huge difference in the lives of our clients and their pets. 

 

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