HHS, Salvation Army Team Up for ‘Backpack 68’ Food Pantry Program

Salvation Army Major Lynnann Rivers (second from left) and Assistant Principal Anthony Curet (right) are among those bringing the Backpack 68 program to Haverhill High School. (Courtesy photograph)

Students and staff at Haverhill High are making certain that no one in their school community goes hungry in the 68 hours between Friday’s lunch and Monday’s breakfast.

In partnership with the Haverhill branch of the Salvation Army, the Monument Street school launched their own version of the “Backpack 68” program at the urging of Principal Glenn Burns and Grade 12 Assistant Principal Anthony Curet, who both had experience with the food pantry initiative in their previous districts of Salem and Methuen.

Through the program, students are able to submit a shopping list for groceries to fill a backpack—donated by Adidas—that will keep them fed over the weekend. Since backpacks are packed by staff members, students do not miss out on classroom instruction.

Entering its third week, the program is in need of donations from community members, Salvation Army Major Lynnann Rivers tells WHAV. Personal care items, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, are of particular need. Twenty students are currently taking advantage of the program, with Rivers vowing not to turn away anyone in need.

Once a student opts in to the program, they are able to receive groceries—like cereal, milk and canned fruit—once a week. They can take enough food to feed their entire household, Rivers said.

To enroll in the program or arrange to donate items to the pantry, call Curet at 978-374-5700 x1138.

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