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Long Island Cares donates shed to local pet charity

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Long Island Cares, a regional food bank, donated money to Valley Stream’s Paw it Forward earlier this March that allowed for volunteers to purchase a 10-by-10-foot shed to better house the pet pantry’s food stores.

Having partnered with Paw it Forward for over the past year, Long Island Cares Chief Program Officer Dr. Jessica Rosati said the donation came about after Paw it Forward co-founder Danielle Scala-Nathan recently invited food bank officials to tour the pet pantry’s facilities, which are located at Scala-Nathan’s Valley Stream home, and identified a need for a dedicated structure to store the charity’s pet food.

“We saw that she was in pretty dire need of developing another shed for her program,” Rosati said.

Paw it Forward provides pet food and supplies to animal foster homes as well as families who might be struggling to feed their own pets due to financial hardship. With its own pet pantry program, Long Island Cares has been a supplier for Paw it Forward since the beginning of the pandemic, when Scala-Nathan was struggling with her own hardship.

In April, her husband and Paw it Forward’s other co-founder, Rob, died of complications from Covid-19, and with an increased need for pet food due to the financial devastation of the pandemic, Scala-Nathan reached out to Long Island Cares for its services.

“She has a very sad story and is a phenomenal young woman,” Rosati said.

Amy Weiner, a volunteer with Paw it Forward, who helps with pet supplies and food deliveries said Long Island Cares donated $2,300 for the shed. After some research, she and Scala-Nathan ordered the structure and held an impromptu ribbon cutting on March 21. “Without Long Island Cares it would not have been possible,” she said.

“I was very grateful that they gave us the money for the shed so we could keep our mission going,” Scala-Nathan said. “We’ll continue to help Long Island Cares as they help us.”

As always, Scala-Nathan said, Paw it Forward continues to accept pet food and supply donations, and in particular, she said, there is always a need for cat food.