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New Pet Food Pantry Will Feed LA’s Homeless Animals


A new food pantry has launched in Los Angeles to feed the dogs and cats of homeless people, reports LAist. Known as “The Dog Food Pantry,” it is located at the Skid Row Community Refresh Spot. 

The brain behind the project is a vet, Dr. Kwane Stewart, dubbed the “The Street Vet.” He has offered free medical care to homeless pets in L.A. and throughout California for more than ten years. Stewart stated that even though many homeless pet owners try to keep their pets well-fed, he sees a lot of inconsistency in the nutrition levels of these animals. 

Food pantry provides premium dog food

The pet food pantry is a spacious shed containing numerous bags of high-quality dog food. Stewart also included a few bags of cat food, but he has found that most homeless pet owners tend to have dogs. 

The unhoused pet parents can take whatever they need for their canine companions. Moreover, there is no cost for using the service.

Stewart stated that it’s kind of a “beta test,” and he is observing and learning as the days go on. In his words, “I’m going to learn more as we go. ” This includes, in his words, “how often I need to stock it.” He continues, “And then I plan to expand this to other areas … that we’re doing this treatment work in.”

The 53-year-old vet disclosed that about 70% of the stocked dog food is gone from the pantry within a week’s time. 

From free veterinary service to pet food pantry

As CBS Los Angeles reports, Stewart’s inspiration for “The Dog Food Pantry” came from “years-long observation that unhoused pets needed to eat better and more consistently.”

“I’ve provided free medical services for so long but had neglected the fact that nutrition is key to total health,” Stewart explained. The vet credits his friend, Richard, who used to be an unhoused veteran, with helping him construct the initial pantry for the program. 

Stewart acknowledged that there are other services that provide food to homeless animals. However, their schedules are usually haphazard, and in the meantime, the pets need more food. As such, he intends to continue investing his time and treasure into his food pantry project so unhoused pets always have something to eat.

Support for Project Street Vet

Stewart’s non-profit, Project Street Vet, has gained support from Fetch Pet Insurance’s “101 Donations” program since January 2022. Until year-end, Fetch Pet matches donations, reaching $101,000, aiding Project Street Vet’s initiatives. 

The vet’s journey helping needy pets began in 2011, amidst the 2008-2009 recession. Overwhelmed by surrendered pets and lack of care due to financial constraints, he founded the organization channeling his compassion into action.

While the L.A. pet food pantry is Stewart’s recent endeavor, it’s not his first when it comes to helping animals. In 2022, he partnered with the HolistaPet company for a pet clinic on Skid Row. It attracted so much media attention, in fact, that it led to various nominations and acknowledgments — most notably as the CNN Hero of the Year. Stewart even received a call from Hollywood about making a movie on “The Street Vet’s” Life.

The pet food pantry is looking for donations, and people can support it online through Project Street Vet. In the future, Stewart is hopeful to expand the project to other cities and even secure a partnership with a pet food brand. 


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