In 2016, after raising two sons and having a career as a residential interior designer, Leslie Bishop and her husband retired to Cambridge, MD from the Washington, DC area.

In early 2017, after learning about “CarePacks,” the weekend food backpack program for youth from low-income families in Talbot County, Leslie discovered no similar program existed in Dorchester County, and MidShore Meals til Monday was born. By spring, she was preparing and delivering about 35 bags each week to Vienna Elementary School. And by that fall, she’d established MidShore Meals til Monday as a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community  Foundation, become a Maryland Food Bank partner, and started purchasing and packing food from the Food Bank for the Meals til Monday program. To date, Meals til Monday has distributed over 350,000 pounds of food purchased from the Maryland Food Bank!

The program expanded quickly to four elementary schools and provided assistance to students attending middle and high schools. During the height of the Covid -19 pandemic, Meals til Monday packed and distributed over 1,100 bags of food each week, reaching students attending every school in Dorchester County.

The all-volunteer organization expanded too, and now has more than 150 people eager to help feed hungry children and their families in Dorchester County. Plans are underway for additional outreach programs and the ongoing Farmer’s Market in Vienna, which Leslie co-founded in 2019.

Leslie serves on the Board of the Cambridge Empowerment Center and teaches an art class during its summer camp program. She also serves as co-chair of the Women and Children In Need Committee of Partners in Giving, Inc. When not working to help Dorchester County children and their families, Leslie spends time with her grandsons and finds time to work in and enjoy her garden.

Although Leslie had no background in childhood hunger concerns or running a non-profit, they have become her passion and mission. As Director of Meals til Monday, Leslie’s dream is to be “put out of business” when every child in Dorchester County has enough to eat and no longer has to worry about having Meals til Monday. Until then, Leslie and all the dedicated volunteers will work to “End Childhood Hunger on the Mid-Shore and Beyond.”

For her dedication, compassion, and leadership, the Women & Girls Fund is honored to award the 2021 Sheryl V. Kerr Award to Leslie Valentine Bishop.