Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead
Tara Autrey, Carrie Brandt, and Sara Ewing decided sending snacks to school was not enough and started Lakeshore Food 4 Kids.
Pictured here (L-R behind check) are the founders of Orange and Black Packs: Amy Marsh, Mark Boon, Donna Garrow and Steve Hull.
In the winter of 2015, a few moms in Ludington, MI, got together after their kids went to bed. While chatting about their families, the topic turned to their kids' hungry classmates.
One mother shared the story of a student at a Halloween party who chose to remain at the refreshment table eating rather than celebrate and play games with her classmates. Another mom talked about her child’s friend who never had a snack to bring to school; this child relied on a generous teacher or a classmate who brought an extra snack from home. Yet another mom shared the story of a first grader at her child’s school who visited the office every week to get a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter from the school secretary.
The mothers realized that night that they had all been sending extra snacks to their children’s schools. They also realized that these extra snacks were not enough.
In the fall of 2016, Sara Ewing, Carrie Brandt, and Tara Autrey partnered with the Lakeshore Food Club to begin operating Lakeshore Food 4 Kids for students experiencing food insecurity at Ludington Area’s three elementary schools.
OJ Middle School Counselors Steve Hull and Amy Marsh, LASD Food Service Supervisor Donna Garrow, and Mark Boon saw a similar need at the secondary level. Inspired by LF4K, they began a very similar weekend program, “Orange and Black Packs,” in 2017 for middle and high school students experiencing food insecurity.
The two backpack food programs merged in January 2020 to become one program for K-12 students under the name “Lakeshore Food 4 Kids.” The entire program became housed within the walls of LASD in 2020, allowing LF4K to continue to serve students through the pandemic. LF4K has now become a program of Lakeshore Food Club and moved to their location.