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On-campus food pantries open

Downingtown High School West students, Principal Dr. Kurt Barker, and teacher Michelle Nass
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In a continued effort to support students facing food insecurity and homelessness, three schools in Downingtown Area School District (DASD) have opened on-campus food pantries this school year - Downingtown High School West (DHSW), Downingtown Middle School (DMS) and Lionville Elementary School (LES). The pantries provide non-perishable food items, hygiene products, and other essentials to students in need.

The DHSW pantry is available to students during the school day. It is maintained by student and staff volunteers and stocked with items donated by community members.

"Learning to give back to your local community is an integral part of our students’ education,” DHSW Principal Dr. Kurt Barker said. “By creating a food pantry on campus, our students learn valuable lessons about how to practice empathy, compassion, kindness and generosity for those in their immediate circle of influence. We are certainly proud to be a part of this important effort to support our West community.”

Group of 11 Lionville Elementary School students standing in "Lion's Den" food pantry

The LES pantry, known as “The Lion’s Den,” is a resource for the school’s families. Parents and guardians can reach out to the school to learn what is available and to make arrangements for distribution, either by pick-up or by sending the items home with a student.

“This is a wonderful example of our school community coming together to support those in need,” said Lionville Elementary School Principal Shelda Perry. “We are grateful for the generosity of the community members who made this possible and look forward to the positive impact these pantries will continue to have on our students.

The DMS pantry is available to eligible DASD families identified as displaced, homeless, or housing insecure. It is maintained by members of the Pupil Services department and stocked with items purchased with grant funds and donated by members of the community.

Donations to all pantries are welcome. Items for the DHSW and LES pantries can be dropped off in each school’s main office during school hours. If you would like to make a contribution to the DMS pantry, please visit to learn more.

“I am so proud that we were able to open these pantries here in Downingtown,” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Director Justin Brown said. “These initiatives are a step towards ensuring that every student has the resources they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Photo caption: Downingtown High School West students, Principal Dr. Kurt Barker, and teacher Michelle Nass

Photo caption: Lionville Elementary School students in the "The Lion's Den" food pantry