Nestlé Purina and Two City Officials Donate to Help Homeless

$25,000 in Donations to Help People and Pets during Extreme Cold

February 4, 2014 | 3 min reading time

This article is 9 years old. It was published on February 4, 2014.

In response to a record number of dangerously cold nights this winter season, Nestlé Purina and two public officials have donated a total of $25,000 to help homeless people and pets in the City of St. Louis.

Alderman Phyllis Young and Community Development Administration Director Fred Wessels have donated a total of $5,000 to the City's Emergency Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

Through cash and in-kind donations, Purina has contributed a total of $20,000:

  • $5,000 to the City of St. Louis Emergency Cold Weather Overflow Shelter;
  • $10,000 to be divided among several agencies that are providing emergency services for the homeless in Purina's Near Southside neighborhood;
  • $5,000 to be split between two local pet welfare groups that are helping homeless pets in the City of St. Louis and in East St. Louis, IL.

It costs approximately $1,000 each day to operate the City of St. Louis Emergency Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.  To date, the City and its partners* have provided a total 3,308 meals and bed nights during this winter season (since December 5, 2013). Tuesday, February 4, 2014, marks the 35th night the shelter will be opened, compared to a total of just 13 nights last season.

"I am convinced that providing the additional shelter nights has saved lives," said Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff. "With this additional money, our partners at the Kingdom House will administer the funds to address the needs of people residing at our Emergency Cold Weather Overflow Shelter."

The generous donations by Purina, Alderman Young and Director Wessels will provide supplemental funding to buy items like gloves, hats, socks, shoes, coats and personal hygiene supplies.  This donation also will make it possible to help pay for over-the-counter medications and prescriptions, along with needed transportation.

"The brutal cold temperatures and snow and ice continue to make this the most challenging winter we've seen in years for people and pets struggling to stay warm," said Kasey Bergh, Manager, Community Affairs at Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. "Nestlé Purina is pleased to be able to help with some emergency funds, supplies, and pet foods for those suffering – especially in our own Near Southside neighborhood, an area Purina has supported for more than a century."

Through an emergency supply drive, Purina employees bought supplies and gift cards for people and pets in need during dangerous weather. The company also donated 46 pallets of Purina dog food and full-value coupons for Purina cat food to the Bi-State Pet Food Pantry to ensure that their clients are able to keep family pets in their homes during financially difficult times.  A portion of this donation will also be distributed to local pet welfare groups to assist pets in need.

"This is what St. Louis is all about – caring for supporting one another at some of the most difficult times," said Mayor Francis Slay. "I want to thank Purina, Alderman Young and Director Wessels for their contributions. We are lucky to have such strong corporate and public partners."

*The City of St. Louis thanks its partners that help make the shelter possible:

Windsor Transitional Housing is responsible for the overall management of the Overflow Shelter through a contract it has with the City.

The Salvation Army provides all evening meals as well as 60 cots and 200 blankets.

AmeriCorps provides bottled water, sheets and weekly laundering through donated services from Faultless Laundry.

The American Red Cross donated 75 cots and blankets last year, which we are again using this winter.

St. Louis Crisis Nursery provides personal hygiene items like toothpaste, tooth brushes and diapers as well as assists families with children through case management services. 

Winter Outreach Volunteers conduct nightly patrols to identify people who are homeless and in need of assistance.  The volunteers provide transportation to the Overflow Shelter.  Volunteers also have helped staff the shelter and warming center out of the 12th & Park Rec Center. 

The City's Department of Human Services is the principal administrator of the Overflow Shelter and coordinates all partnersand acquires necessary resources for the shelter operation.

  • Department:
    Department of Human Services
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