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Yankton, SD – United Way Worldwide and partners recently launched the Pets Eat Too (PET) pilot program, bringing together 211, United Way teams, DoorDash delivery services, and the philanthropic support of PetSmart Charities to ensure that pet owners nationwide can keep their pets healthy during tough times.

The pilot is part of “Ride United: Last Mile Delivery”, a United Way partnership with DoorDash that’s serving communities across the U.S., providing delivery of food and essential items from local food banks, food pantries, and other distribution points to senior citizens, low-income families, and those who can’t leave home. Since April 2020, this effort has supplied more than 300,000 deliveries—reaching over 37,000 households with food pantry boxes, meals, and other essential items.

The new Pets Eat Too (PET) program has so far provided more than 3,600 deliveries in four regions nationwide, helping pet owners keep their pets healthy and safe. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the PET pilot launched in April thanks to the work of statewide 211 provider, the Helpline Center.

Locally, United Way of Greater Yankton has collaborated with the Helpline Center multiple times over the past two years through “Ride United: Last Mile Delivery”, helping address needs within the greater Yankton region – including delivering meals, holiday baskets, and most recently pet food.

United Way staff here in Yankton worked alongside leaders at The Center and Heartland Humane Society to identify pet owners within the greater Yankton area who needed assistance with pet supplies. Thanks to this collaboration, over 52 households were served with over 250 bags of pet food, delivered at no charge.

“DoorDash is proud to partner with United Way, 211, and PetSmart Charities to power pet food deliveries to pet owners so they can keep their furry friends healthy and safe during a tough time for millions of people. Thanks to our partnerships like these, we have helped deliver food, supplies, and other essential items and to help nonprofit organizations better reach and support their communities,” said Brittany Graunke, who leads nonprofit and government delivery partnerships for DoorDash.

“At PetSmart Charities, we believe that helping pets in need means being there for the people who love them. That’s why we’re committed to partnering with organizations who provide pet food and supplies alongside other basic resources to support the family,” says Aimee Gilbreath, President of PetSmart Charities, adding, “Ride United and the PET program do this in incredible ways, and we proudly support the work being done to reach pet parents during times of need.”

United Way of Greater Yankton Executive Director, Lauren Hanson adds, “We at United Way of Greater Yankton are grateful for the power of partnerships and the tremendous impact they have on individuals and families. Our strong relationship with United Way Worldwide, the Helpline Center and local partner organizations, make great things like the PET program, happen for the greater Yankton community!”

To learn more about United Way of Greater Yankton programming and mission, please visit

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