QUINCY (CBS) — It Happen Here in Quincy. It was the birthplace of Howard Johnson’s and Dunkin’ and both presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, giving it the nickname the city of presidents.
Down the street from the John Adams’s birthplace, a small group with a big mission is hard at work in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church. They are measuring out weekly donations of pet food. They move quickly too, sorting and packing more than 60 pounds of pet food in about a half hour, and it’s flying off the shelves almost as fast.
“It’s always helpful to get donations because it’s not consistent, so we can’t count on ‘Next month we’re going to have x amount,’” explained co-founder Ashley Lynch-Mahoney. “Generally we’ll do a pickup from Quincy Animal Shelter and we’ll get anywhere from four pounds to 120 pounds.”
Lynch-Mahoney and Kristen Clancy co-founded the South Shore Pet Food Pantry. They support several local food pantries and social services by providing pet food to clients. The group of volunteers, including Lynch-Mahoney’s retired mother, work as quickly as they can.
At Quincy’s Interfaith Social Services, the stash of pet food can be critically important for people.
“I come here when I really need the food,” said Diane, who travels up from Holbrook every so often. “It really helps me when you guys get the cat food. It helps me because he’s my best buddy, my company.”
Diane is just one of hundreds of people who have utilized the free pet food from time to time. While not everyone uses the service all the time, they know it is there when they need it most.
As that need has grown over the past three-and-a-half years, so has the South Shore Pet Food Pantry. They provide services to organizations from Quincy to Plymouth.
Clancy explained that needing pet food could happen to anyone at any time because so many people in the area are living paycheck to paycheck.
“For some of these people it’s illness, job loss, divorce, child gets sick, they’ve had to move,” Clancy said. “So being able to keep the pet in the home and really keep it stable is so important.”