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BELLOWS FALLS — A local chef whose usual gig is feeding humans is making a pitch to help out her furry friends with a pet food drive to benefit the Windham County Humane Society.

Sarah DiBernardo, owner of Smokin’ Bowls soup shack on Route 103 in Rockingham, is collecting pet food today, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18, 19 and 20 at her eatery just off Exit 6 on I-91, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

“Due to COVID-19, people are having a hard time feeding their families, not to mention their pets,” DiBernardo said. “And the WCHS isn’t getting the usual support it needs to feed the animals it cares for.”

Food collected will be delivered to the WCHS to use at its site and to donate to pet owners, both there and at local food pantries. Any funds received will go to the humane society.

DiBernardo’s list of items needed includes dry kibble and wet food for cats and dogs, pet toys, chew bones, peanut butter and treats. The shelter also needs laundry detergent, paper towels, dryer sheets, small paper plates (non-coated, flat, not bowls) and Rescue Remedy liquid and cream.

The drive grew out of DiBernardo’s desire to help a charity this year and her long association with animals through her veterinarian father, Vincent DiBernardo, who operated Rockingham Vet Clinic for many years.

“Needless to say, animals have always been a big part of our lives,” she said. “Due to COVID-19, there has been a huge need and one that people may not immediately think of during this stressful time, but even a small can of food can make a difference.”

Information about the humane society can be found at www.windhamcountyhumane.org. Information about Smokin’ Bowls and its menu can be found on its Facebook page.

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