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Volunteers at Denis' Pantry work to make sure Delaware County kids can get free meals this summer

Delco nonprofit helping keep families fed during the summer
Delco nonprofit helping keep families fed during the summer 02:34

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — As students in our area start their summer breaks, one nonprofit is getting straight to work making sure families have something to eat.

Summer preparations are in full swing at Denis' Pantry.

It's a one-stop shop for hundreds of families in Delaware County.

Volunteers were busy preparing boxes of diapers, checking expiration dates and organizing shelves.

The space inside Bethany Evangelical Presbyterian Church is a lifeline for many kids who rely on school lunches. 

"You can imagine there are a lot of children in Delaware County," Karen Barnes said. "So, we're trying to fill our pantry for all of them that will sustain them through the summer months."

The nonprofit Grands Stepping Up was started by Barnes when she saw the need to provide resources and support to "grandfamilies," which are made up of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

One of those grandmothers is Rose Marie Lohr, who is now helping run the pantry.

"I can't even really put into words how it helped me, seeing people that were going through the same thing," Lohr said.

Barnes said keeping up with the demand wouldn't be possible without the help of several community groups.

"We have beautiful brand-new wooden shelving that was donated and put up by Eric Tucker, who's the owner of a local lumber company," Barnes said. "And then you'll see all the cans and a lot of the cans were donated to us through the Hunger Project."

This summer, Grands Stepping Up also opened a community garden at a church in Aston to give families more healthy options.

For Barnes, each initiative is part of a bigger mission in supporting the next generation.

"Every idea is a great idea when you're helping these kids," Barnes said.

If you want to get involved, Grands Stepping Up is collecting donations at the Bethany Evangelical Presbyterian Church from 10 to 1 p.m. on June 14. The group also takes donations on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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