Human Services

PLEASANT VALLEY ECUMENICAL NETWORK

Saylorsburg, PA

Mission

Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network (PVEN) is an organization that provides low income families and families in crisis with the essentials like free food and clothing to establish and maintain a minimal standard of living while encouraging independence and self-sufficiency. For over 25 years, PVEN has been faithfully serving those in need by providing free food, clothing, and assistance to clients living in the West End of Monroe County. The combined efforts of the 16 diverse faith-based organizations behind PVEN help build a healthy community where people can be secure in the knowledge that they can access food, clothing, and other resources necessary to work effectively, live happier lives, and be treated with dignity and respect. The PVEN Food Pantry motto is "Giving with Heart".

Ruling Year

1990

Executive Director

Hope Christman-Smith

President

Thomas Campbell

Main Address

PO Box 561

Saylorsburg, PA 18353 USA

Keywords

Food Pantry, Free Clothing, Summer Lunch, Social Service Referrals

EIN

23-2503149

 Number

2956620971

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Monroe County's West End and surrounding townships (Chestnuthill, Eldred, Hamilton, Jackson, Ross and Polk) is a rural region with an agriculture history. Through the years, several manufacturers have come - and gone. Meanwhile, a quirk of the 2001-2008 economy raised housing and property tax prices forcing many families to spend more that 35% of their household income on housing. The net-net result is that a disproportionate number of West End households struggle to put food on the table while still keeping a roof overhead. PVEN's objective is to help families with their physical needs, primarily food and clothing, freeing up more of their remaining budget to live dignified lives, whether they working age, in school, or in their senior years. Equally important is that services are provided without judgement or pre-conceived expectations. All people, regardless of how they fell on a "run of bad luck" are worthy of respect and support.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Food Pantry

Clothing Closet

Angel Tree (Holiday Gifts)

Summer Lunch

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

At its core, PVEN strives to reduce suffering and provide life's necessities so that people can live dignified lives. Since its inception 30 years ago, PVEN's objective has been to help families with their physical needs, primarily food and clothing, freeing up more of their remaining budget to live dignified lives, whether they working age, in school, or in their senior years. Equally important is that services are provided without judgement or pre-conceived expectations. All people, regardless of how they fell on a "run of bad luck" are worthy of respect and support.

Food. Clothing. Joy. Hope. PVEN has five programs: 1. PVEN provides grocery foods to families within 150% of the poverty level using a Choice Pantry model with a strong focus on healthy foods. PVEN is consistently the largest or second largest food state-recognized pantry in the county each quarter. 2. PVEN runs the Summer Lunch program distributing meals at parks and other places kids congregate because the local school district does not run any comparable program. 3. Quality clothing is given to individuals and families in need, with a focus on work and school clothes to be sure people are safe at work and not bullied at school. 4. PVEN administers the Toys for Tots program for the region, bringing joy to families that would otherwise have little to share. 5. PVEN's new 3-building campus hosts synergistic agency services like Women's Resources and Developmental Educational Services.

PVEN's organic support comes from the 16 area churches that founded the organization along with local businesses and civic organizations. Increasingly, grants support add-on programs. PVEN is affiliated with several regional organizations that provide revenues, efficiency mechanisms, and collaboration opportunities: United Way partner, Pocono Mountains Hunger Coalition (founder), Second Harvest partner, InterAgency Council (board), Monroe County Homeless Advisory Board, and others. Lastly, with over 18,000 sf of office and warehouse space, PVEN now has facilities to effectively grow and complementary support agencies to the West End. PVEN's 3600 sf pantry can now receive truck shipments and provide a "Choice" pantry service. Its 3800 sf clothing area allows recipients to shop for clothes for their families, including shoes, undergarments, uniforms, and more. And with over 9000 sf remaining for other agencies, PVEN's service center can offer a full circle of support services.

PVEN maintains several metrics for both internal and external analysis. At its most basic, PVEN tracks the number of families it provides groceries to each month - averaging 200 to 250 per month. These figures are further broken into children, adults, and seniors for a total of over 800 individuals, and we expect the new location to bring a 25-30% increase in our reach. PVEN also tracks the number of pounds of food donated by farmers, through food drives, and other sources to find ways to increase the quality of donations. Summer Meals are delivered to children where they naturally congregate: parks, libraries, etc. In it's first year, PVEN served over 3600 meals. Over the last two summers, PVEN has provided 9,000 to 10,000 meals a year. PVEN's clothing program provided over 21,000 articles of clothing and linens in 2017, with sub-categories for type of article and age groups. PVEN distributed over 6000 toys to 425 children in the 2017 holiday season.

PVEN has been a fixture in Monroe County’s West End for 30 years, providing free food and clothing to those in need. Its deep support base has allowed it to continue providing services through strong and weak economies. Over the past 3 years PVEN has undergone a renewal - building new alliances, adding new programs, expanding into a new facility, and taking on the role of social services hub for the region. These changes, particularly to food and clothing, will allow it to serve more people in need in a more dignified way. More interesting and important is its new role as a social services hub. By providing space for complementary agencies to bring their services to the West End, PVEN can introduce its own clients to agencies that can help them solve the underlying problems that brought them to the pantry and clothing closet itself. This reaches all the way back to PVEN’s core objective: “..to reduce suffering and provide life’s necessities so that people can live dignified lives."

External Reviews

Financials

PLEASANT VALLEY ECUMENICAL NETWORK

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No