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Helping Others: Baltimore Hunger Project

Helping Others is a series of occasional articles spotlighting the good works of local non-profits.

Baltimore Hunger Project
Lynne B. Kahn, executive director

Lynne Kahn with Girl Scout and Brownie volunteers who collected and bagged food

What is your mission?

Baltimore Hunger Project is dedicated to eliminating the growing problem of weekend childhood hunger by feeding bodies and minds. We are bridging the gap between Friday and Monday by consistently providing weekend food packages to children identified as food insecure, in a compassionate and dignified manner. We raise awareness about the effects of hunger by establishing partnerships with community members, other organizations, and decision makers.

What populations do you serve?

School age children who have been identified as food insecure

Tell us more about your work

With hundreds of dedicated volunteers, Baltimore Hunger Project has been keeping kids full and in the classroom since November 2014. In its earliest days, BHP served 30 children in two elementary schools. Today, BHP is providing over 380 weekend food packages to children across fifteen Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools every week!

Baltimore Hunger Project works closely with social workers and guidance counselors at each partner school to identify and reach out to students and families in need. Since our food packages are discreetly tucked into the children’s backpacks, we can ensure the children receiving the food maintain their dignity and privacy.

The bags that get tucked into kids’ backpacks

Why is your work important?

Teachers report they regularly see children who come to school hungry in our very own neighborhoods. Studies show that hungry students have trouble concentrating. Children who do not eat over the weekend take until Wednesday to begin learning. And the thing about hunger is that it is invisible.

You can’t tell if the student to your left or to your right had enough to eat. You can imagine how hard it is to focus on doing math or English if you are always hungry. The school children we support receive free breakfast and lunch every day at their schools. When they go home on Friday afternoons, they may not eat a full meal until the Monday morning school bell. This is a time most people don’t even think about.

The feedback we receive from the teachers and counselors is overwhelmingly positive and the anecdotal information is showing that the children feel supported, love our food bags and are excited to receive them.

BHP volunteers

Everyone who participates or helps feels as if they are working to solve the hunger issue. I have a woman who delivers food weekly to one of my schools who came to me because she received free meals as a student all through her school career. She was so embarrassed standing in line, using the meal card that she often didn’t eat lunch. She brings her children along so they can understand how impactful having food is. I also have a police officer from Baltimore City who delivers food each week because she believes in our cause and sees the effect hunger has on young children.

If people want to get involved, what can they do?

Be a food pickup/delivery helper: Perfect for the individual looking for a specific task-based volunteer project. Purchasing involves picking up a large order of food from one of our Baltimore-area suppliers, (Maryland Food Bank in Linthicum or a Sam’s Club location of your choice). All orders are prepaid and no money changes hands at these pickups. Light lifting is required.

Join our open packing sessions: Perfect for the organization, team, department, or school group that wants to work together on a meaningful hands-on project. Bring your group of between 15 and 20 to Baltimore Hunger Project Headquarters (2305 North Charles Street, Suite 100) for a 2-hour session that will include an introduction to Baltimore Hunger Project and an assembly line-style packing session. Your group will work together to assemble 500 food bags to be delivered to children experiencing food insecurity. Light lifting is required, and all participants must wear closed-toe shoes.

Create Social Media content: Perfect for the individual looking for an on-going project. We would like 3-5 social media posts per week across all our platforms.

Community Outreach: Help us identify area events and raise awareness of weekend childhood hunger by representing BHP in the community .

Make cards and write notes of encouragement: Perfect for the individual or individuals looking for a specific task-based volunteer project. These notes will be added to our weekly food packages to brighten the weekend for our scholars. The notes should be no larger than an 3 by 5 card to easily fit inside the bag.

Write for our newsletter: We are looking for writers, bloggers to help us continue sharing our passion, progress, and success each month.

Host a neighborhood food drive: Collect specific food items to fill our weekend food packages (see below).

Collect toothbrushes, hats and mittens, new children’s books – Scholars who are food insecure often lack the basic necessities. These items represent hope to the children we support.

Donation Food/Supply List: Kellogg’s Brand Cereal Variety Box • Any flavor 100% Juice box • Shelf stable Chocolate Milk boxes, 8 ounces • National Brand, applesauce pouches (not cups) • National Brand raisins, 1 oz. box • Fruit snacks (gummies, fruit strips, leathers) • Gallon sized Ziploc bags All food must be in single serving packaging.

Drop-offs must be scheduled with our office. Please email to set up a date and time.

Monetary donations:
 Help us discreetly provide students with nourishment for the weekend. For $5 you can feed one child for the weekend For $25 you can feed one child for the month For $50 you can nourish two children for the month Sponsor one student for the school year for as little as $200 Sponsor two students for just $400!

Baltimore Hunger Project is a 501(c)(3) that is run by volunteers (no paid staff). Their tax ID number is 47-2281875. Over winter break, students will receive three bags instead of one.

If you are involved with a non-profit that you would like considered for coverage, please fill out this form

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