(WBRE/WYOU) — It started as an idea to help high school students in need.
Now it has grown into a community-wide effort. It’s called the Purple Pantry.
“The Purple Pantry is a meeting of the mind and hearts to feed students on the weekends who do not have the food sources they need. Who really runs this are the para-professionals, student helpers and teachers here in the school,” Gwen Jones, Purple Pantry Committee Chair said. “I gotta tell you everyone has had a hand in it. Security, secretaries, custodians. This came about from two lovely ladies, Dawn Debiase from Moose Lodge and Jeanie Brannigan, our school nurse here. They had come up with the concept of having a possible food pantry here feeding the kids.”
“We do different things especially around the holidays to help the community out. Well, I contacted the high school to ask if they needed a hygiene pantry. I heard that other schools have done it so I thought it was something we needed here. It grew, it grew, it really grew,” Debiase with Women of the Moose said. “This is amazing! They have done so much work here! It’s overwhelming!”
“This has been open for nine days and we’ve already serviced 20 of our students. Our ultimate goal is to service whoever in our student body needs food,” said administrative intern Michael Healey. “The Poconos we know we have long, cold winter nights. We have long weekends, we have storms sometimes where parents stay in New York City. We don’t want any student going home hungry.”
“Teachers feed the minds but we now have where teachers and parents and everyone in this building can feed the body and feed the spirit. That’s why we’re here for the needs of our students,” Jones said.
The pantry is always looking for donations. They can be dropped off at the main office of East Stroudsburg South during regular school hours.