Frederick Chapter

About Our Chapter

Every Friday, 28 percent of Frederick County students — that’s more than 12,000 kids 18 and under — leave school uncertain if they will have enough food to eat over the weekend. That’s 65 hours without proper nutrition and an empty belly!

The Frederick Chapter of Blessings in a Backpack works to raise awareness of childhood hunger and improve the lives of local children who depend on school meals as their primary source of nutrition, by providing food when school meals are not available.

Each week we distribute a pre-packed bag of food to any child across Frederick County that is in need to eat on the weekends. Frederick County Public Schools distributes food but only for the school week. These pre-packs are ordered from a national partner and are very convenient for our current purpose during this pandemic. We currently serve 3,100 children in 26 local schools.

We have started occasionally distributing, in addition to the pre-packs, what we call Emergency Snack Packs (ESPs) to supplement more filling items on long weekends or school breaks. During the school year when school is in-person these are sent home on the chance there could be a delayed opening or school closure due to inclement weather.

Who will feed the kids this weekend?
Why not you?

Meet Our Board

Photo of Roy Rahmati

Roy R. Rahmati, CAP
Board Chair

Jamie Boden head shot

Jamie Boden
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Meredith Roark

Meredith Roark
Matan Companies

Alex Young

Alex Young
Informa Markets

Angela Abrishami

Angela Abrishami
Program Director

Meet Our School Coordinators

Photo of Jennifer Leader Anderson

Jennifer Leader Anderson
Food Distribution Team Lead
Monocacy Valley Montessori & North Frederick

Stephanie Holder

Stephanie Holder
Food Purchasing Coordinator

Photo of Rita Powell

Rita Powell
Operations Coordinator

Photo of Denise Armentrout

Denise Armentrout
Green Valley E.S.

Photo of Nina Blackner

Nina Blackner
YMCA of Frederick County Head Start

Photo of Stacy Bokinsky

Stacy Bokinsky
Lewistown E.S.

Photo of Laura Boston

Laura Boston
Glade E.S.

Photo of Sharon Brown

Sharon Brown
Lincoln E.S.

Photo of Jonathan Carothers

Jonathan Carothers
Tuscarora E.S.

Photo of Rebecca DeGioia

Rebecca DeGioia
Urbana Cluster

Photo of Barbara Dillon

Barbara Dillon

Photo of Melani Drummer

Melani Drummer
Stewardship Coordinator
Carroll Manor E.S.

Photo of Debbie Dunnigan

Debbie Dunnigan
Waverley E.S.

Photo of Pete Dunnigan

Pete Dunnigan
Waverley E.S.

Photo of Trisha Gaskill

Trisha Gaskill
Lincoln E.S.

Photo of Randi Gibson

Randi Gibson
Media Coordinator

Photo of Angie Harpster

Angie Harpster
Monocacy M.S.

Photo of Mary Ann Harris

Mary Ann Harris

Photo of Shannon Kelly

Shannon Kelly
Walkersville E.S.

Photo of Salimeh Khaleeli

Salimeh Khaleeli

Kim Kile

Kimberly Kile
Urbana Cluster

Photo of Erin Lawrence

Erin Lawrence
Parkway E.S.

Photo of Candice Poska

Candice Poska
Whittier E.S.

Photo of Ed Ramsey

Ed Ramsey
Whittier E.S.

Photo of Rachel Sessions

Rachel Sessions

Photo of Jody Sullivan

Jody Sullivan
Monocacy E.S.

Our Founder

Hermine Bernstein

Hermine Bernstein

In November 2013, after increased awareness about hunger among Frederick’s children, I partnered with the national Blessings in a Backpack organization to establish a Frederick Chapter. In Jan. 2014, we began feeding 210 children in one local school. Thanks to amazing community support and a strong volunteer base, our chapter grew to feeding over 3,000 low-income children by March 2020.  The Frederick Chapter is currently feeding 3,100 low-income children in 21 local schools. This has been a true labor of love.  After 7 wonderful years, I retired in October 2020, handing over leadership to Angela Abrishami, the new Program Director.