The good news for the Louisiana Pet Pantry is that it now has access for more food to distribute to animal rescue groups. The bad news is that even free food costs money.

Formerly the Rescue Bank of Baton Rouge, LPP is holding a raffle to raise money for shipping costs for dog food that will go to 30 area rescue organizations, a number that may soon grow to 32, said Mark Mese, president of LPP’s board. Funds are even more necessary since the Pet Pantry’s parent organization merged with a larger charity.

Last year, Rescue Bank of Houston, which distributes food to 18 states, merged with The Greater Good, a charity that raises money for a wide variety of causes. The influx of money along with food donated from pet food manufacturers means more food is available for operations like LPP, which established itself as a nonprofit organization and changed its name. Nick Claghorn and Madison Field, at Postlethwaite & Netterville accountants, and Alex Rossi and Devin Ricci, lawyers at Kean Miller, join Mese and lawyer Judy Atkinson on the board.

“To the extent that we are separate, we can do more things,” Mese said. “We’re not bound by what the Rescue Bank in Houston did. If we get to the point where we can get a little bit more money coming in we’re going to try to help with some things besides food. The next biggest expense for rescue groups here is veterinary stuff. We’re going to try at some point to help with veterinary medical bills.”

That, Mese admits, is a long-term goal, because food is the biggest cost rescue organizations face, and it continues to grow. In 2009, Mese and his wife, Joel, and Atkinson created the Rescue Bank of Baton Rouge after learning about the Houston organization. A mini-storage facility donated space for food shipments, which was difficult logistically — volunteers had to unload trucks of food using hand carts — but met the need.

Now, Mese said, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank has donated space and has forklifts that make unloading easier.

The raffle’s top prize is a one-week stay at a North Carolina mountain lake house. Second prize is a three-day, two-night stay at a gulf-front condominium in Orange Beach, Alabama; third prize is a 20-by-24-inch portrait of your pet by artist Simon Baxter; and fourth prize is a $200 gift certificate to Juban’s Restaurant.

The raffle drawing will take place July 6.

Raffle tickets are $5 and can be bought in Baton Rouge at Petropolitan, 2252 Drusilla Lane; Garden District Nursery, 2504 Government St.; Armstrong Veterinary Hospital, 16645 Highland Road; All Pets Hospital, 9308 Perkins Road; Neighborhood Pet Market, 15168 Airline Highway; St. Mary’s Books and Gifts, 11232 Florida Blvd; Bocage Animal Hospital, 7353 Jefferson Highway; Jefferson Animal Hospital, 8774 Jefferson Highway; Salon at 7 Oaks, 573 Jefferson Highway; Di’s Grooming, 10979 Coursey Blvd.; Garden District Animal Hospital, 1302 Perkins Road; and Associated Veterinary Services, 7807 Greenwell Springs Road. Tickets also are available at Animal Medical Center, 58175 Belleview Road in Plaquemine; Addis Hardware, 7543 Highway 1; and K-9 Clippers, 7450 Highway 1, in Addis.