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CICOA offering free pet food for seniors and people with disabilities

CICOA secured a $7,500 grant from Meals on Wheels to launch a new initiative that offers pet food and supplies to low-income, homebound seniors.

INDIANAPOLIS — CICOA, a nonprofit that started in 1974, helps seniors and those with disabilities in central Indiana live comfortably at home and out of institutional care.

Last month, CICOA secured a $7,500 grant from Meals on Wheels to launch a new initiative that offers pet food and supplies to low-income, homebound seniors.

"It's all about reducing that anxiety, the isolation, the loneliness that our seniors are dealing with," said Tauhric Brown, president and CEO of CICOA. "Anything that we can do that helps alleviate a senior making a decision to feed myself or feed my pet, we certainly want to address that unmet need, that gap."

Alan Hall of Indianapolis was the first to receive a pet food delivery for his cat, Princess.

"It helps because I spent a lot of money on her," Hall said. "If I had 29 cents and it was between me and her getting food, it would be her."

Princess, a stray, came to Hall's back patio six years ago. He said the cat has helped get him through a recent stretch of tough times including the loss of his right leg to diabetes.

"Elderly people can't get out get their pet food," Hall said. "It's a good program. I hope some people donate to it."

"Our goal is to try and grow this to a level where we can expand it to more older adults so that they don't have to make that life altering decision of food or prescriptions or feed my pet," Brown said.

To donate to CICOA, click here.