The Montpelier Food Pantry is rich in partners and this month we’re spotlighting a group that focuses on our four-legged friends. The Central Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (CVDART) is part of the Vermont DART that helps animals across the state by strengthening and supporting the State’s capacity to respond to animal needs in a disaster. CVDART trains its volunteers in best practices and helps guide local emergency managers on including the pet population in crisis response plans.

In March of 2020, as the threat of the coronavirus became real, VDART had an emergency board meeting to plan how to help animals in the coming pandemic. CVDART then began supplying as much pet food as possible to area food pantries so that those impacted most could still feed their pets. Using a network of volunteers, CVDART supplied 22 area pantries upwards of $38,000 worth of pet food! Much of the food was purchased using CVDART’s emergency funds and individual donations, but some was salvaged from the Pet Food Warehouse (damaged packaging but still safe to eat) and some was surplus food donated by the Central Vermont Humane Society. Volunteers from CVDART have been integral in collecting donated food and helping get it to the pantries who need it — like ours!

CVDART is seeking volunteers and has a September 25th volunteer training in Barre. If you want a rewarding way to help animals, consider attending or contacting them about volunteering in general. 

Photo below: Pantry patron and his four-legged friends.