Students at one archdiocesan school recently showed their appreciation for health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls student launched an April 8 “Snacks of Heroes” campaign to benefit emergency room staff at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health in Montgomery County.

Wearing face masks and gloves, the student council members collected drive-up donations outside of the school’s Northeast Philadelphia campus. Alumnae, fellow students and community members lined up to drop off prepackaged snacks including chips, pretzels, granola bars, cookies and candy.


As the pandemic has unfolded, efforts to support health care workers have gone global. But the St. Hubert’s initiative hit home, said student council president Victoria Wolstenholme.

“My aunt is a caregiver, and a couple of my mom’s friends work at Abington Hospital,” she said. “I feel like everyone’s affected by this crisis in their own way.”

Wolstenholme suggested the collection after helping her mother deliver snacks for Abington staff from students of nearby Blessed Trinity Regional Catholic School.

“I saw what Blessed Trinity was doing, and how appreciative the Abington Hospital staff were,” she said. “So I thought it would be nice for them to get even more.”

The area’s health care workers have been logging long shifts as the state’s coronavirus infection total approaches 33,000 confirmed cases. About 50% of those cases — more than 16,600 — are in the five-county Philadelphia area, with 620 coronavirus-related deaths in the region as of Sunday.

Given such daunting numbers, and the challenges of adjusting to life under stay-at-home orders, the snack collection was a way to take positive action, said St. Hubert senior Amelia Hemphill.

“We’re helping in our own way,” said Hemphill, a member of the school’s student council. “It’s been kind of tough sitting at home, just watching from the inside. So it’s cool that we can kind of contribute in our own way, bring our school back together to help out.”

As a result of the effort, the school collected enough to provide two shifts of nurses with a generous supply of snacks — and encouragement.

“We wanted to say, ‘Thank you for everything you’re doing,’” said Hemphill. “These are crazy times right now, and we thank you for everything.”