Many struggling to feed themselves during pandemic also struggling to feed their pets

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:

Right now, people are struggling to feed everyone in their household. If given the choice, many would choose to feed their pets before themselves. Some say without the community’s help, it would be even more difficult.

Unfortunately, Tina Majestic’s story isn’t unique anymore. She got laid off, sits in her car now, with a couple of dozen strangers in a long line for free food.

“Oh, it crushed me,” she said. “I worked there for 13 years, and they closed our department. At 60 years old it was very difficult because that’s all I’ve done all my life is work in the newspaper business.”

While she struggles to feed herself, she’s not in this line just for her. She’s here for Jinx, her cat, as well.

“My neighbors will give me at least a couple cups to get me through. Sometimes I have to give her tuna fish and, you know, as a supplement and stretch it out for a couple days,” Majestic said.

She lives every day making tough choices like which bill to pay or which to skip, but she never waivers when it comes to Jinx. Sometimes, that means sharing what little food she has.

“Even if you can take vegetable beef soup, split it with her,” she said.

When folks can’t feed themselves, they can’t feed their pets. Right now, there are a lot of people who just can’t feed themselves.

“I am a welder and I can’t weld right now, you know on an assembly line,” said Owen Fugate of Bonita Springs.

“No have too much money to buy food so for buy food for pet is more difficult,” said Anya Calderin.

Wednesday’s pet food pantry is a sign of these times and a sign of hope. They can feed their pets tonight.

The pantry was put on by Lee County Domestic Animal Services and the Bonita Springs Assistance Office. If you’d like to sign up for notifications from the office or learn about upcoming food pantries, click here.

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