UPDATE, 6 a.m. Sept. 10: Friday's pop-up event has been postponed due to wildfire conditions. You can find an up-to-date calendar of future events here.
Local animal shelters in King County have banded together to create a mobile pet food bank to help owners feed their animals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several organizations offer pet food to owners who need it. But after animal shelters initially closed in response to Gov. Jay Inslee's stay-home order, they decided to get out into the community with a truck and a tent.
"One of the things that has been great about this project is that we are trying to meet our residents where they're at, that we are listening to them," said Lluvia Ellison-Morales, who does communications and community engagement for Regional Animal Services of King County.
Ellison-Morales says with the pandemic exacerbating financial struggles, some pet owners are faced with having to decide whether to buy food for their pets or for themselves.
"It really is about helping pets, but it's also about helping people," she said.
The events have taken place in about a dozen King County cities since April. Ellison-Morales says they usually come with thousands of pounds of food and give away most of it. She estimates the events have helped more than 800 people and about 2,000 pets.
A variety of pet food is available at the events. If owners can't find what they're looking for, shelters can follow up to get them the food they need.
The mobile pet food bank is expected to visit Federal Way and Maple Valley later this month.