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ENCINITAS, Calif. (CNS)– An nonprofit organization donated nearly 20 tons of cat and dog food to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society for distribution to pet rescue organizations throughout Southern California.

Rescue Bank, operated by — a Seattle-based nonprofit that supports animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts — donated the 39,794 pounds of food which will be available for shipping or pickup Wednesday.

“This donation through Rescue Bank and includes Nutro Ultra Dry Grain Free Duck and Lentils dog food, Nutro Wholesome Essentials dry cat food and Nutro Grain Free Chicken Pate for dogs,” Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesman John Van Zante said Tuesday. “The food will be distributed to registered nonprofit pet rescue groups. For many of them, this will allow them to use money originally allotted for food to cover medical and other operating expenses.”

The donation comes at an opportune time, as the Rancho Coastal Humane Society just took in 17 dogs from an overcrowded shelter in Mississippi.

“There are many rescues struggling to pay full price for the food they need,” said RCHS President Judi Sanzo. “With donations from Rescue Bank, the rescue groups only pay for shipping to cover our costs. The food is free. The money they save can be used for spay/neuter, veterinary services, and anything else they need to provide care until the pets are adopted.”

The newly donated food will provide as many as 100,000 meals for pets being cared for by registered rescue groups in San Diego and surrounding counties, according to Van Zante. There are close to 200 rescue groups in San Diego County alone, he said.

Editor’s note: An early version of this story incorrectly said is based in Texas.