A Thamesmead disabled woman and her carer have set up one of the first pet foodbanks in the south-east.
Barbara Homewood, 46, and Sam Taylor, 23, are both keen animal lovers and decided to help people who are struggling to feed their creatures.
The organisation, Mario’s Mission, is named after one of Ms Homewood’s beloved moggies and has already won the backing of superstore Jollyes, in Princes Road, Dartford, where shoppers can drop off purchases.
The food is then distributed from Ms Homewood's home in Mangold Way, Thamesmead, after clients have demonstrated evidence of need.
Ms Homewood, who has 15 pet cats, told News Shopper: "We decided to set it up three weeks ago after I read about something similar in America.
"I searched for something in our local area and couldn’t find anything - we think it’s the first one around here.
"I am long-term disabled and reliant on benefits and Sam is my carer, a university graduate living with her mum.
"Sam is also an animal lover - she has three cats, a chihuahua and a guinea pig.
"It’s important because people are struggling to feed their pets and are often going without food themselves just to look after the animals."
She added: "Pets are for life but obviously circumstances change. It’s wrong people should feel the need to give their animals away or even put them down because they can’t afford keeping them anymore."
Mario’s Mission already has one regular client and is on the lookout for more.
They are also putting on a stall in the shop on May 3 with a tombola.
Email Mariosmission@hotmail.com or search for Mario's Mission on Facebook.
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