On June 6, a semi-truck filled with 40,000 pounds of dog and cat food left a warehouse in Lebanon, Tenn. As the truck travels west, it will deliver food to 15 animals shelters in Dallas, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, Phoenix and other stops before making its final delivery on June 10 at Best Friends Animal Society in Kaneb, Utah.
Freekibble and its companion site, Freekibblekat.com, were founded three years ago by Mimi Ausland, who was 11 years old at the time. As she described in a story for the Huffington Post in April, Mimi started volunteering at her local shelter, the Humane Society of Central Oregon, and realized that the organization and others like it often had trouble stocking enough food to feed the animals in their care. She and her parents launched the websites, which allow visitors to help by answering trivia questions about dogs and animals. Each day that a visitor clicks on a trivia question, the site donates 10 pieces of kibble to a needy shelter — even if the site visitor gets the answer wrong.
In the last year, the Freekibble site has donated more than 5 million meals to more than 125 animal shelters across the country.
"This is so amazing to me," Mimi wrote at the Huffington Post, "because when we first launched the two sites, I didn't know it was possible to help dogs and cats at one shelter get fed, let alone this many."
All of the food donated through the site is provided by Halo, Purely for Pets, a company co-owned by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Mimi to appear on her show in 2008.
According to an article in the March/April 2011 issue of Best Friends magazine (pdf), more than 53,000 visitors answer trivia questions every day at Freekibble, while another 47,000 visit Freekibblekat.
There is also a companion site called Freekibblekids, which inspires younger children to help animals. Mimi also founded the Freekibble Foundation, which helps fund further food donations to shelters.
The Kibble Drop truck is scheduled to stop in Albuquerque on June 7 and will arrive in Utah on June 10.