One local home healthcare agency is collecting food and supplies to keep pets healthy and at home with their senior owners.

Gentiva Home Healthcare, located at 175 Exchange Street in Bangor, chose to use its annual August food drive to benefit the Furry Friends Food Bank, a program of the Eastern Area Agency on Aging. The food drive provides the Food Bank with cat and dog food, cat litter, and cash donations.

Nationwide, Gentiva uses the month of August to stock the shelves of food pantries. However, the Bangor office knows the important bond between owner and pet. That is why Gentiva chose to use its food drive to benefit the Furry Friends Food Bank for the second year. Last year’s food drive yielded more than 1,800 pounds of pet food and supplies.

“We also know that proper nutrition is important for the well-being of the people that we serve as well as their pets,” said Gentiva Home Health’s Bangor Branch Director Sheldon Brett.

The Furry Friends Food Bank, housed at EAAA at 450 Essex Street in Bangor. Furry Friends not only provides crucial nutrition and supplies for pets owned by seniors and people with disabilities, but it allows the owner to not worry about the financial or physical costs of caring for their furry companion. According to EAAA, pets provide love, support, and companionship to their owners and are invaluable to mental and physical health.

According to EAAA, many times an owner with a low income or who is housebound will share their own food with the pet because they either can’t afford pet food or are not physically able to get the needed supplies.

“This partnership is a natural derivative of [our relationship with EAAA],” said Angela Lufkin, a senior account executive for Gentiva Home Health. “It’s especially compelling because we visit people at their homes. People with pets thrive in their home. It is especially good for their mental health. It gives them a good reason to get up in the morning, to take their medication, and do their exercises because they know they need to care for their pet.”

Collection bags are available at the following locations: DownEast Orthopedic Associates, Husson Internal Medicine, Woodlands Senior Living, Hammond Street Senior Center, Bangor Police Department, People’s United Bank, Philip Strickland House, Sunbury Village, Winterberry Heights, Westgate Manor, Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation, Maine Veterans Home, and Gentiva.

For more information, contact Lufkin at (207) 990-9000. For information on EAAA, visit