Heather Griesser LaPierre

2022 Good Neighbor Awards Winner

Newton Square, Pa.

A desire to feed people around the world and around the corner inspired Heather Griesser LaPierre to established the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia, a satellite of a worldwide organization devoted to providing nourishment to starving children. “The hunger problem really resonated with me,” she says, “and in my mind, I truly felt that selling real estate could enable us to help solve hunger.” Since 2015, Griesser has led teams of volunteers to pack nutritious rice-based meals for local schoolchildren and food banks. More recently, the group has assisted in emergency relief efforts around the world. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, KAH Philadelphia shifted gears to provide 200,000 meals for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. It also has contributed to recent relief efforts in Malawi, Greece, Puerto Rico and Haiti. The organization initially operated out of Griesser’s home. Trucks would deliver pallets of food to the house, and her husband and three children would carry 50-pound bags of rice and other supplies to the basement. As demand grew, KAH Philadelphia moved to its current home, a 5,000-square- foot warehouse with its own loading dock. Now, volunteers working seven days a week in two or three shifts pack 350,000 meals per month. “When our volunteers come in to pack, they are feeding two types of hunger,” Griesser says. “They’re feeding the very real hunger of the families that receive our food, and they’re feeding the hunger within each of us to want to help others.”

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