Charities Working Together To Provide Over a Million Meals to the Nation’s Pets

29 Nov 2023

Thousands of dogs and cats across the UK have been enjoying nutritious meals at no cost to their owners, through a programme set up by leading animal charities and the UK’s biggest food waste charity. 

The Pet Food Partnership, comprising Battersea, Cats Protection, Dogs Trust, RSPCA and FareShare, and supported by Petplan, recently passed the significant milestone of one million meals provided to dogs and cats in England, Scotland and Wales. 

To date the programme has provided the equivalent of 1,043,095 meals, approximately 154 tonnes of pet food donated by pet food manufacturers across the UK, during a time when many owners are having to cut costs wherever they can, including what they spend on their beloved pets.

Over the last year the cost of living crisis has continued to have an impact on pets and the animal welfare sector, with many dogs and cats being brought to rescue centres by heartbroken owners no longer able to afford to care for them. FareShare has also seen skyrocketing demand for food, with more people needing support to feed themselves and their families as they struggle to make ends meet.

As the nation prepares to head into another cold winter, facing higher energy bills, the charities fear that many owners will be struggling to cover their living costs. With the programme’s pet food continuing to be distributed to those that need it the most, the partnership hopes that this will give pet owners one less expense to worry about.

A spokesperson for the Pet Food Partnership, said: “We know how important pets are to the people that love them, and that many owners would rather go hungry themselves than let their pet go without a meal. We believe no one should ever have to make that choice. That’s why we started this programme – to offer struggling owners a helping hand and fill pet food bowls across the UK. 

“While reaching the million meals milestone is a great example of how effective working together can be, it is also a sad indicator of how many owners continue to struggle as a result of rising costs. From the dog owners up in Aberdeen, to the people with cats down in Plymouth, we’re here to help keep pets well-fed this winter.”

The partnership was created at the end of 2022 with the goal of helping owners struggling to feed their pets during the cost of living crisis. With the animal charities working together to secure pet food donations from leading suppliers including Mars Petcare, Lily’s Kitchen, Pets at Home and Purina, plus additional support from trade industry body UK Pet Food to help co-ordinate and bring in further donations, the food is then distributed to the people and their pets who need it via FareShare’s network of over 8,500 community groups and charities across the UK, supported by a generous donation towards transportation costs from Petplan, the UK’s number one pet insurer.


Notes to editors 

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For any businesses interested in supporting the programme, please contact


To calculate the number of meals provided from the total weight of food distributed, we have measured the average weight of a pet meal to be 150g for a dog weighing approximately 20kg, and 105g for a cat weighing approximately 4kg, where pets are assumed to be fed twice a day. This is because the median recommended feeding amount for a dog is 300g a day, or 210g for a cat. Our pet food bundles contain a mixture of both wet and dry food, so an average is taken between both.


The Pet Food Partnership is an alliance of four national animal charities, Battersea, Cats Protection, Dogs Trust, RSPCA, and FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste. The partnership has been working with a number of partners, including Petplan, who generously donated £100,000 towards the costs of distribution of the food through FareShare’s national network, and pet food manufacturers including Lily’s Kitchen, Mars Petcare, Pets at Home and Purina, which have all generously donated hundreds of tonnes of pet food.


Battersea has been helping animals since 1860, being there for every dog and cat in need of their help. Staff and volunteers give each animal love and expert care, getting to know their characters and quirks so they can find a new home that’s just right for them. Beyond the vital work in the charity’s centres, Battersea helps many more animals through their work with other rescue organisations across the UK and overseas. Battersea also provides training support and welfare advice, and they campaign for change to continue to improve the lives of animals everywhere. Battersea will always be here for every dog and cat, wherever they are, for as long as they need them.

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, here to help people see the world through cats’ eyes. As a community of volunteers, employees, supporters and partners, Cats Protection has improved the lives of millions of cats and transformed the way millions of people see and care for cats. Our vision is a society where every cat has their best possible life because they are protected, cared for, and understood by everyone. Cats Protection was founded in 1927 as the Cats Protection League. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity.

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and normally cares for around 14,000 pets across its network of 21 rehoming centres in the UK and one in Dublin. Dogs Trust has a non-destruction policy and will never put a healthy dog to sleep. The charity also focuses its efforts on understanding pets and sharing that knowledge with the wider public to prevent problem behaviours that can result in relinquishment or abandonment. We are working towards the day when all pets can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.

FareShare is the UK's biggest charity tackling food waste to support social good. We take good-to-eat surplus food from across the food industry, sort it in our regional warehouses across the UK, and pass it onto a network of over 8,500 charities and community groups. These include school clubs, community centres and pantries, hostels, refuges, older people's lunch clubs, and hospices. Three quarters of the organisations we provide food to, support children and families. During the last financial year, 2022-23, FareShare redistributed the equivalent of nearly 128 million meals - that's 4 meals every second.  The 55,000 tonnes of food we redistributed stopped 95,000 tonnes of COe2 going to waste.

The RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the world’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity and was founded in 1824. The primary focus of charity is to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome or release animals across England and Wales.