YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — During COVID-19, some families and seniors are having problems putting food on their plates and in their pets’ bowls. York County SPCA is trying to help.

“We basically have two feeding programs at the York County SPCA and the goals of those programs are to support people when they are having some time of hardship because we want to keep pets and families together,” executive director Steven Martinez said.

For many people, pets are a part of the family and bring comfort during a stressful time.

“We don’t want people who are struggling to afford for that to be the reason they surrender an animal to the York County SPCA,” Martinez said.

The York County SPCA offers two programs.

“So we distribute food out into the community — the York County community. The second program is our pet food pantry program. Which is where the community would come to us to pick up food,” Martinez said.

He also explained how someone can access the pet food pantry.

“People just call us up and let us know they are having some type of temporary financial hardship is there any food we can supply them with and we do,” Martinez said. “We supply them with a week or two-week supply of food. My staff would package that up, they come to the shelter and pick it up fill out a simple form and then they leave.”

The food pantry operates on a first come first served while supplies last.

Martinez also explained how the pet food distribution program works after receiving more calls from senior citizens. The York County SPCA delivers pet food to three senior centers.

“Now especially with COVID-19 we know we need to keep our seniors kind of isolated from the rest of us,” he said.

Martinez says he expected to see greater demand.

“I would just encourage those who are in need, who are experiencing those temporary financial hardships, one of our programs we are proud to support, the feeding programs we are here to help you and so I do encourage you to utilize it,” Martinez said.

The York County SPCA depends on volunteers. In 2019, Martinez says 300 volunteers contributed over 20,000 hours their time, adding that equals 10 full-time staff members.

The York County SPCA also relies on food and financial donations. If you would like to help, you can check what they need from their Amazon wish list here.