ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Around 400 New Mexico residents have applied to receive help from a “food stamps” for pet program.

Marc Okon of the New York-based non-profit group Pet Food Stamps says the 400 New Mexico residents applied for help just two weeks after the program was launched.

Okon says he created the program to help low-income families keep their pets.

Dawn Glass, marketing director at Animal Humane New Mexico, says her group distributes about 3,000 pound of free pet food each week.

Okon says those who qualify for government assistance likely qualify for the pet assistance program. He says the program is currently running off of private donations until he can obtain federal grants and funds.

Recently census data showed that New Mexico remains one of the nation’s poorest states.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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