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Milan Opens Italy's First Food Bank For Animals

MILAN — The economic crisis isn’t affecting just bipeds. Our furry four-legged friends have also been struggling, as many have been abandoned or neglected when their families no longer had the resources to care for them.

Italy has launched its first food bank for animals to help with this problem, thanks to the volunteer group City Angels. The initiative, known as Balzoo, collects food donations for animal shelters and pet owners who are struggling to feed their four-legged loved ones.

Balzoo’s first collection was on March 6 with a gazebo set up on a Milan street, La Stampa reports.

“I love animals and I wanted to do something concrete to help them and their owners, who are often left abandoned by other institutions,” explained Balzoo’s founder Luigi Griffini. “In this case, Milan demonstrates that it is aware of the problem, and it’s a city that others can take an example from.”

Chiara Bisconti, City Council member, agrees with Griffini. “Animals play a fundamental part in family life. This project serves to help the most vulnerable families in need of help. For us to participate in this project is a point of pride and confirms the attention that we give to policies in favor of Milan’s animals. Our philosophy is to defend and extend the rights of all beings in this city.”

“We have many poor people who will be delighted to receive food for their animals,” City Angels founder Mario Furlan told Milano Free. “We’re not just thinking of the cats and dogs belonging to the homeless, but also of the families suffering from the crisis. They’re struggling to feed themselves, and getting help for their pets will be a comfort for them.”

Photo: Balzoo’s Facebook Page

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