Backpack Initiative helps feed the North Hills

Sarah Robbins, staff writer

Two North Hills staff members are currently collecting pantry items for the Backpack Initiative.

Mrs. Kathy Helfrich and Mrs. Holly Michael saw the need to start the Backpack Initiative to help the kids in our community. This organization helps students of the North Hills School District and their families have food to eat when they go home on the weekends. Every Thursday, students get together to help package the bags, which supply families with food items for the weekend. Every Friday, these bags are taken to different elementary schools and given out to children who need them.

Mrs. Helfrich wanted to start this program for our district after one of her students came to her and told her that he hadn’t eaten all weekend because there wasn’t any food in his house. Then, Mrs. Michael approached her during lunch duty and talked to her about starting the “Backpack Initiative.” Today, about 155 North Hills families rely on the program’s donations.  

There is demand for 55,800 food items that need to be distributed to that many students. These items include canned food, boxed items, and pudding. These food items can be delivered to North Hills Senior High, and if you can’t bring food in, you can also donate any amount of money to North Hills Middle School, Attn: Backpack Initiative, 55 Rochester Road, Pittsburgh PA. 15229. The program goes on into the summer, so it’s never too late to donate.