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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Lord S Pantry of Downingtown

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Human Services

Mission: Based on the belief that no one should suffer from hunger. The Lord’s Pantry exists to provide supplemental food assistance to eligible, low- income individuals and families in need. We deliver this service in conjunction with government food programs, through community donations and a network of committed volunteers, in a manner that places high value on respect and dignity. Recognizing that these Downingtown Area residents have other basic, unmet needs, we also strive to refer, and/or offer appropriate service to enhance their quality of life.

Geographic areas served: Downingtown School District

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at Lord's Pantry and has been touched by the help and caring I see given to so many families in our area. The way the Lord's Pantry is set up so that a family can come and shop for groceries and have a choice as to what their family likes is very different than other places who give what is available. I have new friends both in the other volunteers and the clients who I now know and am happy to share a part of their lives. Lord's Pantry is also so special in that each and every person involved is a volunteer - there are no paid positions. I truly consider this experience to be a blessing in my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Lord's Pantry for two years. They have a dedicated team of volunteers to help the growing number of families that need food in our area. In addition, these families recently received thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and next week we will distribute the christmas gifts from generous companies and individuals that have adopted them for the holiday season. It has truly been a rewarding experience for me.

Randy B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteering at the Pantry for several years now, and it is an honor to participate among such as hard-working and caring all-volunteer staff. Clients are received warmly, just like valued customers, and, should their need continue, eventually come to feel more like beloved family members. The Pantry's cheerful, warm, inviting and compassionate tone is set by the Board members, leaders, and senior volunteers, many of whom devote very long hours to Pantry operations and outreach, while somehow not only maintaining top quality of work, but also devising creative solutions to meet unique client needs. We have personally seen clients lives change, as despair evolves to hope, based on the support (food, friendship, respect, and more) they receive from Lords Pantry of Downingtown.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the Lord's Pantry on Monday and Thursday mornings. I'm so impressed with the efficiency, kindness and respect that this pantry is run. Also in our training, we are taught as volunteers to put our clients first. To be helpful, friendly and to treat them with dignity. It makes for a positive shopping experience for our clients and a good working experience for the volunteers. I have encouraged my friends to also become volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for the Lord's Pantry for a little over a year. I am so impressed by the attention and the caring that is shown to all who come for assistance. The atmosphere is one of pleasantness and courtesy. It is a big undertaking and I am sure challenging at times. Everything is done in an efficient manner with everyone cooperating with one another. It has been a pleasure to be involved with such an important organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Lord's Pantry for the last couple of years. They do a great job of helping the less fortunate in our community. It is an honor to part of such a well meaning organization.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at the pantry over the last year. These folks do a great job providing a very needed service in our area. Jan Leaf, the director, and her team of volunteers are very organized and committed. They continue to take care of an ever increasing volume of existing and new clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at the lords pantry of downingtown are extremely dedicated to providing the best services to their clients. They do not stop at anything, they must achieve greatness which they do. Everyone has a smile and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at the Lord's Pantry for several years now and find it rewarding. All of the volunteers work together to make sure our less fortunate neighbors don't suffer from hungry. The clients served are most gratful for all of the food they receive. I feel honored to be part of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lord's Pantry is an excellent organization that seeks to provide a crucial service to the Downingtown community. This organization is efficiently run and is committed to providing year round assistance to residents of Downingtown in need.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lord's Pantry provides not only food assistance to almost 800 families a month but does it in a way that always honors the dignity of those who need the services. The level of organization in that process is at the highest level. Volunteers are trained in food handling protocals for repackaging fresh foods or shelf life of donated food to be stocked. When clients receive their food, they use a shopping cart and, with a volunteer, select from categorical areas for both canned or dry staples as well as "healthy choice" selections that include milk, two fresh meats, a fresh fruit and vegetable. Addtionally, clients may select eggs, sliced cheese and margerine. Fresh breads and desserts, additional meats, cheeses and other items donated by local grocers are available and are picked up by volunteers, date checked and stocked. When it was determined that bananas often became over-ripe and might be wasted, a volunteer printed a recipe for banana bread using those bananas and on an on-going basis, packages ziplock bags of the dry ingredients for making banana bread. Similarly, in the summer when fresh produce is abundant and brought from local gardens, nursing students demonstrate how to cook delicious dishes using fresh vegetables, provide the clients with the recipe and a bag of the ingredients to cook them at home. Counselling services are also offered by knowledgeable volunteers in additonal services available to clients of which they might otherwise be unaware, such as energy assistance, job counselling, food stamps, and medical clinics, to mention only a few. Throughout the year there are additional special distributions to clients, some of which include, Easter, cold and flu, back to school, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The building that houses all these services is mortgage free and ALL involved in providing the services, including the directors, are volunteers. I can not imagine a better organization or a better mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lord's Pantry serves almost 800 clients monthly, providing food and special services in an environment that preserves the dignity and sense of self-worth of those served. Clients leave with shopping carts full of staples, fresh produce (in Summer from locally-grown fields) and "healthy choice" selections that each client "shops" for. At Thanksgiving there are special appetizer-to-dessert meals with whole turkeys, etc. In addition, September brings back-packs for clients' school-age children, full of school supplies. The Pantry also provides "healthy cooking" classes to educate clients on preparation of wholesome and fresh foods that may be unfamiliar but bring variety to menus. There is a dedicated core of volunteers, and not a penny goes to "management" - from top to bottom time and effort is strictly voluntary. This organization and its philosophy of emphasizing the dignity of all those served is inspiring.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lord's Pantry is so much more than an emergency food cupboard. Along with an overflowing shopping cart full of food each month, clients also are offered special distributions throughout the year, including household products, cold and flu care packages, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas meals and gifts, and back-to-school supplies; one-on-one counseling sessions to navigate through state and federal benefit and utility company bureaucracies; budgeting workshops; nutrition and cooking education; and health screenings by nursing students. All of this is completed by volunteers - no paid staff here. My wife and I have volunteered at the Pantry since 2004 and have loved every minute of it.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most urgent time for feeding programs in the last 70 years. In this country of plenty, there are so many hungry people. The Lord's Pantry is the only Emergency Food Cupboard serving the Downingtown, Exton, and Lionville areas. They have served 3660 families to-date in 2009. The growth in need is out-paced only by the resolve of an all-volunteer staff, led by director, Jan Leaf. Clients are treated with respect and dignity; they are allowed to chooses foods they want rather that receiving a prepared bag or box of foods. The work done there is inspiring for those served and those serving.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's amazing the time these people spend helping families in need. I volunteer at the Thanksgiving distribution every year and to see the way this organization is run and the kindness of these people running it is extraordinary.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Pantry provides a dignifying experience for each client. We provide not only food, but also friendliness, empathy and respect. The pantry pays not a penny in salaries - - everyone is a volunteer, including the entire leadership team. All the volunteers will go the extra mile to serve our clients. It is an honor to serve among these volunteers; it is also gratifying to work with our clients, many of whom face wide-ranging challenges with grace and poise. - - debbie & randy b.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteering for several years and have seen the dedication of the other volunteers, as well as the fantastic, caring assistance that our clients receive. Even though the client base has nearly doubled over the past four years as the US economy plunged, the Pantry has somehow risen to the challenge with ever-improving services. Most recently, it was a joy to see the true spirit of the 2010 Christmas season, as our all-volunteer organization distributed Christmas dinner fixings to over 200 families and answered the precise Christmas wishes of over 500 children! Then, two days later, took to the task of delivering "senior boxes" to the elderly, and continuing to provide emergency food supplies to over 100 families per week - - our clients select their own groceries in an uplifting, shopping-like experience. The dedicated volunteers take their cue from the exceptional role models on the Board and in leadership positions, all of whom fight hunger passionately and wisely without a penny of salary

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have recently started volunteering at this charity. It has been a wonderful experience. This is a well organized group that are dedicated to helping our neighbors. Kindness and exceptance is the name of the game at the Lords Pantry and I am proud to say I am affiliated with it, Hats off to the dedicated people I see there every week!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with the Lord's Pantry for over 20 years. When I first discovered it the whole operation worked out of two double closets. The clients received a grocery bag of canned vegetables and meats and the one memory that sticks in my mind was the box of saltines...clients received one stack of crackers. Today clients leave, after making their own choices, with a shopping cart filled to the brim. To say that the pantry has come a long way is understating the enormity of the organization and it's volunteers [no one is paid]. Through amazing leadership, a board of directors with visions, tremendous contributions from the community and many helping hands, the Lords Pantry is an outstanding example of love and commitment to an ever growing need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a place to volunteer since I retired and started helping at The Lord's Pantry last spring. I feel privileged to work with Jan and her assistant Linda. The Pantry provides monthly food assistance to families in the Downingtown area who would otherwise go hungry. The volunteers I work with are amazing and the clients I see each month are so appreciative. They are able to truly shop and choose the food products their family needs. The number of needy families continues to grow and I find it so rewarding to be able to help at this wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Lord's Pantry for about 2 months now and I can't believe how many people they help. They always go theat extra mile. If a client needs something special they try and find it. It is very rewarding for me to see how much is done every time I am there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For two years I have been a regular volunteer with the Lord's Pantry. It has been highly fulfilling for me on a personal level. I have seen first hand the lengths to which members of the organization will go to provide nourishing food and support to clients who, despite living in the most affluent county in the state, would otherwise go hungry. Not only are clients accorded the dignity of choosing from a variety of healthy foods and fresh produce, but they are given assistance with food delivery and personal transportation when needed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in September of this year at The Lord's Pantry. When I first started I was simply amazed at the dedication of the people working and volunteering. I enjoy what I do and it gives me great pleasutre seeing the people 's faces of who we help.