Activism

Vendors are receiving free pet food to keep their beloved animal pals fed

StreetVet and Tails.com have joined forces with The Big Issue to make 600kg of food and treats available to self-isolating vendors

Big Issue vendor Viorel Parnica and his pet dog, Vio

The Big Issue is keeping vendors’ animal pals healthy and well fed during the Covid-19 lockdown, thanks to a massive pet food delivery from Tails.com and support from StreetVet.

Animal companions are vital support to vendors who are self-isolating, offering company at a time when it is hard to come by.

But magazine sellers have seen their income hit after The Big Issue was forced to stop selling the magazine on the streets temporarily to protect vendors from the coronavirus. That has made it difficult to pay for pet food for some, despite The Big Issue’s support.

StreetVet, the charity working across the UK to treat homeless people’s pets, heard of our vendors’ plight and contacted online pet food firm Tails.com.

StreetVet Tails.com Jerri
streetvet tails
London Big Issue outreach work Jerri took delivery of the pet food over the weekend. She is now ensuring that the food gets to vendors

They responded immediately, sending 600kg of pet food and treats to The Big Issue’s London and Midlands offices to be distributed to vendors and their pets who desperately need it.

Sean McCormack, head vet at Tails.com, told The Big Issue: “We were more than happy to step up.

“It’s a bad time for everybody and for people experience homelessness, running out of food and looking after their dogs is another worry so we wanted to do what we could.

“We’re giving away good quality food that is surplus to our requirements. So if customers cancelled their orders before they were going to be shipped or if stuff has been returned from the postal system, we can’t send it back out.

“Rather than sending it out to be biowaste, it’s much better to get it into the hands of people who need it and their dogs too. We’re happy for it to be a long-standing arrangement too.”

Tails.com regularly works with StreetVet to ensure that rescue centres and shelters are regularly stocked.

StreetVet co-founder Jade Statt told The Big Issue that the charity’s “motivation is to always do more to push forward the human-animal bond”.

Lauren Neale, The Big Issue’s sales and operations manager in London, insisted that the food delivery will do plenty to achieve that.

“We’re thankful to Tails.com for their much-needed help,” she said.

“A couple of our vendors were really struggling in particular and when we spoke to StreetVet they put us in contact with Tails who sent over a huge delivery which blew us away. We are now working to distribute the food to vendors.

“We know how much vendors’ pets mean to them, especially at a time when they are self-isolating, so we’re really grateful for the support from Tails.com and StreetVet.”

Big Issue vendors need your help while they are unable to sell the magazine throughout the Covid-19 crisis. You can help us to keep supporting vendors by subscribing to The Big Issue. Head to bigissue.com/subscribe to receive the magazine directly to your device or front door. Or you can pick up a copy in Sainsbury’s, Co-op and McColl’s stores now.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

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