Food Pantry Program

PVEN Choice Food Pantry

Starting February 1st, PVEN will no longer be supplying bags for walkthrough food pantry clients. 

Please remember to bring your own bags and a mask to your walkthrough food pantry appointment!

Drive-thru service is still available for those uncomfortable with walkthrough

PVEN’s Choice Food Pantry provides free grocery foods to residents of Chestnuthill, Eldred, Hamilton, Jackson, Ross, and Polk townships in Monroe County.

Recipients must pre-register and self-declare that they meet certain household income guidelines.  

All participants must pre-register before their first food distribution, and must re-register once a year. Call (570) 992 3136 for a registration appointment.

Walk-up food requests are discouraged, however we make every effort to handle one-time emergency situations for qualifying residents. 

PVEN distributes groceries to 220 – 370 families (620 – 1261 individuals) a month depending on the season. We welcome an average of 14 new households per month to the PVEN support community.

Participants may visit the food pantry once a month. Several days and times are available to meet individuals’ schedules.

Distribution dates and times:

  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Tuesday of each month 9AM – 11:30AM
  • 2nd Saturday of each month
  • If a month has 5 Tuesdays, we are NOT open the last Tuesday

All distributions require reserving a time slot in advance.
Recipients MUST call the office by noon the day BEFORE distribution.
New clients must pre-register in person at least one day in advance.

Office Phone # 570-992-3136

PVEN – USDA Nondiscrimination Policy – English
PVEN – USDA Nondiscrimination Policy – Spanish

Sample of free grocery food from PVEN

What is a Choice Food Pantry?

A Choice Food Pantry allows recipients to select the foods that they know their families will eat, or that their doctor recommends. At PVEN Food Pantry, each shopping cart has a color-coded flag indicating the shopper’s family size so they can match up with signs on each food display in the warehouse. This lets them know how many cans of vegetables they may take, and lets the frozen food department volunteers know what size package of meat that person should take. 

The most important part is that Food Pantry patrons can CHOOSE which vegetables, pastas, soups, meats, and yes, sometimes cookies, fit their family’s needs. They don’t have to take foods they won’t eat, so waste is reduced. And they don’t have to be teased by foods they know they shouldn’t eat when they open their cabinet at home.

The biggest benefit is that having choice gives people dignity and self-respect. Not an anonymous hand-out, but a personal decision that they have made themselves. This opportunity to restore and retain personal dignity is a key component to helping people get back on their own feet and break the cycles of poverty. Knowledge that one can control at least one small component of their life gives people the self confidence to take charge of other aspects of their life, and helps them onto the path of self-sufficiency.

PVEN's Quality Focus

PVEN focuses on high quality foods that meet the Feeding America’s Foods to Encourage model, particularly for the foods it purchases directly. Where possible we try to acquire low-salt, low-fat versions of foods, and discourage less healthy contributions like Ramen and Pop-Tarts.  That doesn’t mean that everything on PVEN’s shelves is boring – we still offer cookies and deer jerky when we can get them.

PVEN also works closely with local farmers and food markets to bring fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs to our clients. Through a partnerships with local farms like the Garden of Giving and Garden of Grace, PVEN has recently added fresh local produce to the list of foods that it offers to pantry patrons.

Our hope is that our clients can utilize PVEN’s foods as a basis for many of their meals, allowing them to use their SNAP and discretionary money to purchase things like spices and supplemental foods.