Rowan County businesses support “August is for AniMEALS”

Debbie Barnhardt, Kim Hardiman, and Abby.
Debbie Barnhardt, Kim Hardiman, and Abby.(Submitted photo)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 2:46 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - From Meals On Wheels: Local businesswomen Lorna Medinger of Hughes Plumbing Supply, Debbie Barnhardt of Barnhardt Jewelers in Spencer, and Kimberly Hardiman of Hardiman Design are animal lovers.

Last August, they came together to sponsor a “Fill our Tubs with AniMEALS” campaign that raised over one ton of pet food, 456 cans of pet food, and $1,200 in contributions. The proceeds support pet companions of homebound seniors across Rowan County who receive home-delivered meals.

Meals On Wheels Meals Coordinator, Suzanne Weber, who organizes the deliveries of pet food, said, “these women did an amazing job, they engaged folks we had never heard from before, people who care about animals and now care about our participants.”

This year, Kimberly Hardiman is coordinating, “August is for AniMEALS.” The goal for this year is 2 Tons of Pet Food and $2,000. Kimberly Hardiman’s mantra is “Go Big or Go Home.” She worked with Lettered Lily on the graphic designs for posters, banners, yard signs, and bag stuffers. Hardiman also enlisted new businesses to serve as donation sites and sponsors.

Hughes Plumbing Supply at 531 South Main Street in Salisbury and Barnhardt Jewelers at 314 S. Salisbury Avenue in Spencer were the two drop off locations last year. Joining them this year are Dr. James K. Jolly, DDS, at 1816 East Innes Street; Lazy 5 Vets. 2916 South Main Street, Stitchin’ Post Gifts, 104 South Main Street’ Lettered Lily, 113 West Fisher Street and West Rowan Farm Home and Garden, 11575 NC Highway 801, Mt. Ulla.

Several of the businesses are offering special incentives to come in and donate. Dr. Jolly is offering a drawing for a Yeti Cooler, and Barnhardt Jewelers is offering a drawing for a beautiful Paw Pendant. Kimberly Hardiman is giving away matching Paw Earrings from Barnhardt Jewelers.

AniMEALS Event Coordinator, Kimberly Hardiman said, “We want to support the pet companions of these homebound seniors. Meals on Wheels never uses donations for participant meals for pets.

Only AniMEALS donations can be used for pet foods and pet care. Their primary mission is to feed homebound seniors a nutritious meal. But we believe companion animals are vital to seniors, and it is often difficult for these seniors to grocery shop or to get heavy bags or cans of pet food into their homes.” She also said, “we don’t want our seniors to feed half of their meal to their animals because they feel guilty that they don’t have any pet food at home.”

The posters, banners, and signs for “August if for AniMEALS” feature pets found in many of the local businesses. Many local shoppers will recognize Sasha from Stitchin’ Post Gifts, Abby from Barnhardt’s Jewelers, and Fisher from Lettered Lilly.

Contributions will provide vouchers for rabies vaccinations, wellness checks, and grooming when needed. Meals on Wheels Rowan received a grant during 20192020 form Meals on Wheels America that provided for vaccine vouchers and wellness checks for pet companions. All home-delivered meals participants must sign a pet agreement so volunteers can deliver to their home. Pets must have up to date rabies vaccinations and be contained during meal deliveries.

Meals on Wheels Meals Coordinator, Suzanne Weber, said, “We appreciate the support of these local businesswomen. We are ready to fill our Pet Food Cans so that we can assist our participants with pet food over the next 4-6 months. Our volunteers often tell us that our participants express their sincere thanks for the pet food donations many times over.”

For questions, please call Meals on Wheels at 704-633-0352.

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