When did BIAB begin?
How many employees work for BIAB, Frederick?
How does BIAB acquire its funding?
Does all the money donated stay in Frederick?
How much does it cost to feed an individual child?
How are students selected for the program?
How is confidentiality protected?
The identities of students we serve are strictly confidential. The School Counselor, Community Liaison, or administration identifies children at risk of going hungry when school meals are unavailable. The school provides the number of students and we pack accordingly. Distribution to individual students is handled by school staff in a confidential and caring manner.
Is there a permission slip to participate?
There is no permission slip for participation. Students receive an “opt-out letter” with their first bag. Copies are provided in English and Spanish. If the student’s parent or guardian decides that the program does not meet their needs, they sign the letter and return it to a designated member of the school staff. The letter also includes a notice regarding food sensitivities or allergies.
Why might a family “opt-out”?
Families “opt-out” of the program for a variety of reasons: The child might have food sensitivities or allergies; the family may have other resources; they may be concerned about confidentiality. If the designated school staff feels that further assurance or clarification is necessary, they talk to the family.
How do you decide which schools will be in the program?
Orchard Grove was the first school selected. Subsequent to that, School Counselors or a member of the community usually reach out to us. If funding is available, we willingly add that school to our program. Generally, schools with a high percentage of need reach-out to us. Sometimes an organization or business decides to “adopt” a school. BIAB currently serves 17 local schools. Look to the right to see the list of schools we currently serve.
How does the food get to the school? Is it delivered?
Food is generally purchased from local grocers: Wegmans, SAMs, and FoodPRO. On rare occasions, we purchase from other sources. Food is then picked-up by school or community volunteers and brought to the respective schools. One of our grocery partners, FoodPRO delivers to larger schools. Our partners from Darcars Toyota picks up from SAMs and delivers to our larger schools. If you would like to donate food please check our food list or just order off our Amazon Wishlist and have it delivered to our door.
What is included in a weekend bag?
We have a series of rotating menus. Each child enrolled in our program receives the same items in any given week of the rotation. Over regular 2-day weekends, BIAB provides breakfast, an entree, dessert, and snack for each day. Longer weekends and school breaks mean more food. We provide non-perishable, kid-friendly, easily-prepared foods like oatmeal, cold cereal, pasta (spaghetti, Mac & cheese, ravioli, spaghettios), rice options, soup, tuna, pudding, fruit cups, applesauce, snack bars, and snacks like Chex mix, pretzels, Goldfish, Cheez-its, cheese & crackers.
Who distributes the bags and when?
Packed grocery bags are confidentially placed in student backpacks on the last day of school before the weekend or school break either by specially designated school staff or volunteers. If there’s no school on Friday, students receive their food before the break. Students receive food for regular weekends, long weekends, school breaks, and Blizzard Bags for major snow events. BIAB provides food over holidays or teacher work days that coincide with weekends.
Does BIAB accomodate for food allergies?
Unfortunately, due to the number of children served each week, we are unable to accommodate most food sensitivities or allergies. However, we do provide substitutes for nut products.
Where does the “backpack” part come in? Does every child receive a new backpack?
In order to maintain confidentiality, children do not receive special BIAB backpacks. We actually pack in grocery bags, which are then put into the child’s personal backpack before the weekend or breaks. If a child does need a backpack, we will provide one.
What happens over the summer?
BIAB does not currently provide food over the summer. Our only access to the children we serve is through the schools, during the 38-week school year. Thankfully, there are a number of other community programs available during the summers, including one through Frederick County Public Schools.
Is the food donated or purchased?
We purchase approximately 85% of the food we distribute. The remainder of the food is donated through local clubs, businesses, organizations, individuals, and the faith community. If you would like to donate food please visit biabfrederickmd.org/food-list
How can I donate food?
We are very grateful for food donations from individuals, groups, clubs, organizations, and businesses. Please note that we a very specific food donation list that aligns with our menus. We only accept non-perishable food, in perfect condition (no dents, dings, or torn or opened packaging). We greatly appreciate newly purchased food, so as to avoid items that are expired or soon-to-be expired. You can donate food directly though Amazon or view our food list. Please contact Karen Fishburn at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
What is the best way to make a monetary donation?
We are very grateful for any and all donations. Checks payable to Blessings in a Backpack may be sent to P.O. Box 3508, Frederick, MD 21705-3508 or submitted online through our secure portal.
How can my company or organization get involved?
We welcome corporate, business, and organizational partnerships. There are many ways to help BIAB serve more local children…sign-up to volunteer at one of our schools, run an in-house “food & funds” drive, sponsor a school or group of children. It costs $100 to feed an individual child for an entire school year, $500 to feed 5, $1,000 to feed 10, $5,000 to feed 50, and so on. We would be very grateful for your support. Please contact email@example.com for additional information.
How else can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved. Help us pack backpacks, donate food, or donate funds. Please “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BlessingsinaBackpackFrederick We often post other opportunities to help at our schools or special events. It’s also a great way to learn about local businesses that sponsor events to benefit our program.