Marple's Hometown Monthly Magazine
Mailed to homes and also read online!

Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia’s Founder Heather Griesser LaPierre

Marple Friends & Neighbors, November 2022
Bernie and Heather LaPierre
(photo courtesy of Heather Griesser LaPierre)

During this month of giving, we’re pleased to feature Heather Griesser LaPierre, Founder and Director of Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia (KAHP), who gives her time, talents, energy and resources to those in need. Our community is certainly lucky to have generous people like Heather and her team at KAHP who expect nothing in return other than knowing they’re making a difference in the lives of others.

For the past seven years, Heather, her family and thousands of volunteers have packed close to 10 million meals that feed starving children around the world and right here in our community. Heather, a local realtor, started KAHP back in 2015 when she was looking for a meaningful way to give back to the community.

Heather said that the research she did about hunger hit home for her. “I was shocked when I learned just how bad the hunger crisis was,” Heather said. “Not just around the world, but right in our own community.” She’s made it her mission to feed children all around the world and around the corner, and she’s been able to make it possible through her job as a realtor. A portion of her real estate team’s commission goes to KAHP to feed families.

KAH is a non-profit organization with more than 40 locations in the United States. Their mission is “to provide fully nutritious meals to impoverished children and families around the world…and around the corner.” Donations enable KAH to provide their own brand of ultra-nutritious dry packaged meals. Each meal package provides six nutritionally complete servings and they’re simple to prepare, easily digestible and a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins.

Heather with volunteers preparing meals
(photo courtesy of Heather Griesser LaPierre)

When Heather first started KAHP she and her family packed meals out of the basement of her Broomall home. Eventually they were able to move to a bigger location and now have a 5,000 square foot warehouse with a private loading dock located in Broomall’s Industrial Park on Sussex Blvd. Heather’s husband Bernie runs the warehouse and helps out with packing shifts, along with a handful of volunteers who have taken on a leadership role within the organization. The team packages the ingredients, organizes the shipping and receiving and Heather even drives a 26-foot truck to deliver the meals.

There are open packing times five days a week where up to 50 volunteers can come at a time and pack meals. KAHP also goes out to various locations where companies, schools and other locations can host their own private fundraising packing events. “Volunteering at KAH is so rewarding because it is a community of people coming together to work for a common goal…ending world hunger,” said Margie Varalla, a Broomall resident and frequent KAHP volunteer “Heather is the amazing and inspirational driving force that empowers the volunteers to want to make a difference and gives us a sense of purpose.”

“Having grown up volunteering, it was important for me to find something that families could all do together,” Heather explained. At KAHP there is a job for everyone, so even young kids can help with scooping, weighing, sealing bags or packing boxes. Heather said she’s been blown away by the number of people who come out to volunteer each week. “Whether it’s an organization or just individuals
wanting to help out, we often have so many people who want to help that we need a waitlist,” she said.

Pallets ready to be sent to Malawi, Africa

For two years KAHP also partnered with Philabundance for its Pack the Backpacks program and provided more than 6 million meals for local families. This past year they also sent 250,000 meals to Ukraine and the meals went directly to the front lines to feed soldiers and children. After Hurricane Ian last month, KAHP also fundraised to send meals to Florida for the victims.

“Wherever there is a need we always do our best to fill it,” said Heather. “Whether it’s shipping food internationally, across the world or right here in our community we are always ready to do our part to help put food on the tables of those that need it.” That is why KAPH also created a food pantry right here in Broomall because of the growing need of food in the Marple Newtown community. Last month they began collecting canned goods, non perishables, pet supplies, toiletries, feminine products, and paper products and they look forward to start distributing food to those in need in January.

Heather’s generosity and spirit of giving back has not gone unnoticed. In October she was one of five winners chosen as a recipient of the National Association of Realtors® Good Neighbor Award. The Good Neighbor Award recognizes people who affect change to improve the lives of others in their community. As an award winner, Heather received a $10,000 grant for KAHP, which will enable them to provide 40,000 life saving meals for local communities and beyond.

“When I walk into our Kids Against Hunger warehouse, I feel a sense of purpose,” said Heather. “My goal is to pack one million meals a month. When I look around and see all the volunteers, I know we can do it when we work together!” KAHP is always looking for volunteers to help with their packing and for organizations to host fundraising events. For more information or to or to sign up to become a Hunger Hero, visit