The Smith Family’s Journey of Feeding 150+ Kids in Long Grove
Story by Kyla Smith, mission ambassador
Working out of their garage, the Smith family makes a significant difference by helping feed over 150 kids in the local Long Grove area. After a neighbor and founder of the local Blessings in a Backpack program passed the program along to the Smiths in 2019, it has grown tremendously- helping feed more and more kids each year. While the Smiths first began with the more standard method of packing nutritional meal bags by hand, the pandemic and stricter safety measures and concerns led to a shift to bags in bulk- allowing for an easier and more efficient delivery process. This efficient process has fostered immense growth in the reach the local program is having on schools in the area. While the program began in 2019 by delivering bags to just one school, it now feeds children at five, growing the number of kids fed from 30 to nearly 160. The family’s main hope is that, over time, the program will take off even more to expand from the five current schools to even more schools feeding into the Adlai E. Stevenson District. For featured guest Brett Smith, it is gratifying to make such a local impact, especially in a generally wealthier district where many, if not most people within it, may not realize food insecurity is an issue. “Think Globally, Act Locally,” he reflects.