For most of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oak on Main in Pullman has been offering free meals to the public once a week to help anyone who might be struggling to afford food during the difficult year.
Owner Frank Maryott said the restaurant realized people were not the only community members who needed help.
“We thought we would take care of our furry friends as well,” he said.
Maryott said if people have a tough time feeding themselves, then they likely are having difficulty affording food for their pets.
In response, Oak on Main recently set up a table outside that serves as a free pet food pantry. The public is encouraged to take what they need or leave behind pet food they want to donate.
The Holiday Pet Food Pantry can be found on the Main Street sidewalk in front of the restaurant. The plastic containers on the table are mostly filled with cat and dog food.
In a message posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page last week, Oak on Main said cat food seems to be in high demand and asked the public to donate any it can spare.
Maryott said so far the public has been generous with its donations and he notices new items in the containers every day.
“It’s worked out pretty good,” he said.
Maryott said the Holiday Pet Food Pantry goes hand in hand with its free meal program called “Feeding Our Friends” that began in the spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restaurant offers free meals to the public every Tuesday and Maryott said it feeds approximately 150-200 people every week.
It had to pause the program in October because of high demand and rising food costs. Then donations from the community allowed Oak on Main to restart the program.
Maryott said Feeding our Friends and the Holiday Pet Food Pantry are meant to serve a simple goal.
“We just want to help out the community as much as we can,” he said.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at email@example.com.