Our History

Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids, Inc. has changed considerably from the initial 18 bags of food packed on March 14, 2015 on a dining room table! Within three weeks, Sandie Nagel, founder of Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids, expanded the operation to The Chimes, Inc. in Mount Washington – a vocational school for persons with disabilities and other special needs.

Weekend Backpacks then grew rapidly and what began as an idea has now come to fruition – a viable and meaningful organization working diligently to combat hunger among Baltimore City school children. It is estimated that there are over 3,200 homeless students as identified by the Baltimore City school system.

  • During the 2017-2018 school year, we packed and delivered over 11,000 bags of nutritionally sound food to 15 Baltimore City schools. Recognizing that our students don’t live in isolation, each bag feeds 3-4 people.

  • In November, 2017, we moved from The Chimes in Mt. Washington to a new rent-free location at 1505 Bedford Rd. in Pikesville. This 3600 sq. foot facility allows us to purchase food in bulk, receive food deliveries and have adequate storage space for bags packed by our partners.

  • In December, 2017, we were approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization (EIN #82-0946083).

  • Our volunteer base has grown to over 190 men and women who are committed to our mission.

  • Our men's club meet on Tuesday mornings to accept the shipments of food and to prepare the tables for the packing on Thursday.  They also meet The Maryland Food Bank tractor trailer of food once a month on Wednesdays.  Together with our McVets volunteers they manage the inventory of food received.

  • Our volunteers pack food the bags of food for distribution every Thursday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 11 m. at our 1505 Bedford Avenue locastion. 


  • Twenty drivers deliver the bags to our schools on Thursday mornings.  They generously donate time and resources.  


  • We have also established an alliance with McVets, a training program for homeless veterans who assist in the “heavy lifting” of our packing.

  • We have cultivated partnerships with Temple Oheb Shalom, The Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Krieger Schechter Day School, North Oaks Retirement Community, Classic Catering People and several other organizations. Some pack bags, some hold food drives, but all contribute in a meaningful way to grow our organization and feed more children.

  • In addition to our weekly bags of food, we start our kids off with backpacks filled with school supplies for the new academic year; we collect gloves, hats and scarves for the cold winter months and even donate personal toiletries to students and their families

  • November 2018 we included a new reading book for each student in their Thanksgiving bag of food.

  • December 2018 we sent over 800 pairs of new pajamas to our kids and their siblings.  Each pair of pajamas were gift wrapped by our volunteers.

  • February 1, 2019 we increased our output of deliveries to over 500 bags of food for students in 20 Baltimore City Schools.