Our Approach:

All Baltimore City schoolchildren are provided breakfast and lunch at school each day. However, many of the students suffer from food insecurity, lacking sufficient funds to provide them with food when school is not in session.

We provide child-friendly, nutritious food directly to children in need over the weekends.

We believe that a child does not live in isolation; therefore, each backpack contains enough food to feed three to four people for the weekend.

All food is packaged in four set menus, including milk, proteins, vegetables, cereal and fruit. The amount of food in the bags increases weekly throughout the month to compensate for the fact that a family’s funds decrease as the month progresses.

Fresh fruit is included in every backpack of food.

Additional food is added when there is a three- or four-day weekend. These extended weekends can mean that the students would have little or no access to food for more than 100 hours.

Our Mission:

The mission of Weekend Backpacks is to improve the lives of students affected by food insecurity in Baltimore.

Homeless Students in City Schools

  • In five years (2008 – 2013), the number of City School students identified as homeless doubled.
  • In the 2012 – 2013 school year, City Schools identified 2,716 homeless youth who attended the district’s schools.
  • Board of School Commissioners’ policy and accompanying regulations ensure that homeless children and youth have access to the education and services to which they are entitled in order to meet the challenging academic standards to which all students are held.

Who is Considered Homeless?

Children and youth are homeless when they lack a fixed, regular and adequate night-time place of residence, including:

  • Sharing housing of other persons due to the loss of housing, economic hardship or being “doubled up”
  • Living in a supervised publicly or privately operated emergency or transitional shelter
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Living in vehicles, on the street, in abandoned buildings or in any private or public space not designated as regular sleeping accommodations
  • Awaiting foster care placement
  • Unaccompanied youth

The Schools We Serve

As of May 2022

  • Abbottston Elementary School
  • Arlington Elementary/Middle School
  • Armistead Gardens Elementary/Middle School
  • Arundel Elementary School
  • Ashburton Elementary/Middle School
  • Barclay Elementary/Middle School
  • Calvin Rodwell Elementary/Middle School
  • Career Academy
  • Cecil Elementary School
  • Cecil-Kirk Recreation Center
  • Charm City Virtual
  • Collington Square Elementary/Middle School
  • Creative City Elementary School
  • Cross Country Elementary/Middle School
  • Dorothy Height Elementary School
  • Edgewood Elementary School
  • Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School
  • Furley Elementary School
  • Gwynns Falls Elementary School
  • Govans Elementary School
  • Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School
  • Hilton Elementary School
  • John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School
  • Joseph C. Briscoe Academy
  • Lakeland Elementary/Middle School
  • Liberty Elementary School
  • Lois T. Murray School
  • Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School
  • Mary E. Rodman Elementary School
  • Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School
  • New Song Academy
  • Patterson High School
  • Pimlico Elementary/Middle School
  • Rosemont Elementary/Middle School
  • Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy
  • Southwest Baltimore Charter School
  • Steuart Hill Academy
  • Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School
  • The Historic Cherry Hill Academy
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary/Middle School
  • Vanguard Collegiate Middle School
  • William S. Baer School
  • Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle School
  • Winfield Elementary
  • Yorkwood Elementary
  • Youth Opportunity School