|Feeding People And Pets|
Some programs deliver meals to the hungry in their homes, but few take care of those people’s pets. When volunteers noticed that their needy neighbors gave part of their meal to their animals, they used their own money to buy pet food to include on the deliveries. As Reed Galin reports, they have some extra help now, and the extra helpings are much appreciated.
(Locator: Jackson, Michigan)
At 76, Gail and Dick Buttenbach have slowed some. Though 40-pound sacks of pet food seem heavier now, their burden isn’t.
Gail Buttenbach, Food Pantry Distributor: “We do it. We’ve raised six children and we’re used to hard work.”
Making their appointed rounds once a month, they load pet food into their old van. Then, at their United Methodist church food pantry, they pack in deliveries for seniors across Jackson County, Michigan. Their 50-mile route, and the recipients, change…
(Gail Buttenback to dog) “Oh, you’re such a beautiful boy!”
…but the need does not. Most recipients are their contemporaries.
(Volunteers offer meals) “Alright, we got some more. Thank you very much! You’re entirely welcome.”
It’s hard to see so much need.
Gail Buttenbach:“There but for the grace of God go I.”
Reporter: “ It could so easily be you, do you ever have the feeling it still could be you?”
Gail Buttenback: “Of course. Gosh, yes!”
When they saw people were giving delivered food to their animals, Gail and Dick started buying pet food themselves. Over time, they found stores to donate it.
In ten years, they have never missed a delivery day.
Dick Buttenback: “We’ll straighten it out as we go along.”
Ten years of gasoline and additional supplies, of putting off vacations and their own medical needs now.
Reporter:“How do you feel at the end of one of these days?”
Gail Buttenbach: “Glad its over, but glad that I can do it. God willing I’ll keep on doing it as long as I’m able. I know there are so many of them are so grateful for what we’re able to do.”
Gail and Dick Buttenbach are hunger coordinators for their church, Concord United Methodist. The church partners with the North Parma United Methodist Food Pantry to serve the area around Jackson, Michigan, about 120 miles from Detroit.
For more information, call 517-531-4054.
Also, see: Couple deliver food to people – and pets – in need