When most people think of PAWS San Diego they think, quite rightly, of all the pet food and supplies we distribute every month. All that food, kitty litter, and other supplies make a very important stop, however, before they reach any of the pets or people PAWS serves. The PAWS warehouse is, in so many practical ways, the place where the magic of PAWS comes together to help pet families stay together.
Thanks to the generosity of our regular monthly donors, such as Wal-mart stores, the Petco Foundation, Petco stores, San Diego Food Bank, indivduals and others, PAWS is able to keep its warehouse fully stocked for distribution every single month. All this generosity also means that there’s always plenty of work to be done in our warehouse. When PAWS receives food donations, Quinn, our warehouse supervisor, and the volunteers who help him make sure that the warehouse is cleaned, prepped and ready for restocking.
The restocking process is more than just placing food on the shelves, it requires volunteers to help with sorting food by type, marking packages for expiration, dividing up large food packs, repackaging monthly portions, quality control checking and inventorying. Food deliveries are made every 3rd Saturday of the month with the help of approximately 30 volunteer drivers – 10 routes in North County and 20 routes in San Diego. During a typical month for Quinn, the warehouse team, and the office volunteers who field phone calls, there’s always plenty that needs to be done. Fortunately for everyone there’s a system in place, and Quinn is always proactive and on top of things, ensuring that the warehouse runs smoothly.
- During the 1st week of every month, calls are received from clients to confirm their food delivery requirements and the distribution list is prepared.
- During the 2nd week of every month, food for PAWS North County clients is pulled and prepared for distribution (for 70-100 clients per month) with the assistance of volunteers over the course of 2 days.
- During the 3rd week of every month, food for PAWS San Diego clients are pulled and prepared for distribution (150-200 clients per month) with the assistance of several volunteers over the course of 3-4 days. Clients that wish to pick-up food (about 40 clients per month) are able do so during this week as well.
- On the 3rd Saturday of every month, food is distributed to PAWS clients throughout San Diego County thanks to PAWS volunteer drives who come to the warehouse to pick up their routes.
- During the 4th week of every month, delivery issues are addressed (if any) and the distribution cycle begins once more.
Some of the companion animals of PAWS San Diego clients require specific food that PAWS does not regularly receive. If and when these specific foods, like those that are wheat free, or have limited ingredients, are available, Quinn makes sure that they are reserved to go out during the next distribution or stockpiled for the pets that need it most. Any overstock, excess or soon-to-expire food gets re-donated to local animal rescues in hopes that it will help prevent animals from being put-down due to food shortage. As you can see, there is never a dull day at PAWS! Volunteer Drivers and Warehouse Volunteers are always needed. If you are interested in helping out with our food distribution efforts, please contact Lauren Rogers, our Volunteer Coordinator at (619) 297-7297.