In Stephen Smith’s ideal world, food insecurity wouldn’t exist. But in reality, it does, so he’s made it his personal mission to help those in need have access to food in Central Indiana and around the world — both through community initiatives and efforts related to his position as global technical education leader at Dow AgroSciences.
As president of the Indy Hunger Network (INH), Smith facilitates the efforts of a collective impact group of nonprofit organizations and corporate partners dedicated to fighting hunger in the community. Working with Midwest Food Bank, Gleaners, Second Helpings, Meals on Wheels, Connect2Help and others, IHN has been able to double SNAP dollars spent on fruits and vegetables, improve the availability of nutrition and cooking information for low-income families and conduct research on the scope and impact of food insecurity on our communities.
In alignment with his passion and career, Smith serves on the steering team of Dow AgroSciences Hunger Solutions Network, which has a goal of engaging employees in addressing local and global food security and hunger issues. More than 400 employees volunteer with 10 partner organizations, providing more than 20,000 volunteer hours in the past five years. Two outcomes of their efforts is the creation of the Crooked Creek Food Pantry, which serves food weekly to 250 households, and the employee-led “Harvest for Hunger Garden” where more than 24,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables have been grown and donated to community food pantries in the past three years.
His position at Dow AgroSciences also gives him the opportunity to educate the public on the value and role of agricultural technologies in global sustainability and food insecurity.
Raised on a farm, Smith has always been interested in agriculture and helping feed a growing world.
But his dedication to eliminating food insecurity intensified after touring a local food pantry, where he saw the prevalence of food insecurity close to where he lives and works. Now he has a front row seat to the entire food cycle, seeing how it is produced and ending with where and how it’s obtained.
Stephen encourages everyone to find something suited to their unique interests, abilities and talents and volunteer. “Community service is very rewarding,” Smith stated. “Every time I serve, I usually walk away feeling like I’m the beneficiary of the blessing.”