‘Free Lunch Baby meant a lot to him’: Celebration of life held for Kareem Smalls

Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 4:23 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2022 at 11:13 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s been more than two years since a community leader in Savannah was shot and killed. Kareem Smalls, knows as Free Lunch Baby, died on Nov. 23, 2020.

Saturday his family held a celebration of his life at Connor’s Temple Baptist Church.

WTOC has followed Smalls’ story since the beginning and just three months ago his killer was handed a life sentence.

Smalls was known for using his clothing brand as a way to buy lunch for kids in the community.

His family and friends work hard every day to make sure his legacy lives on and that the LLC he worked so hard to get does too. At the event his shirts were laid out for sale, there was music, food, kids activities and more.

Smalls’ mother says the pain of her son’s murder will never fade, but she finds happiness in carrying on his dreams.

“Free Lunch Baby meant a lot to him and it also means a lot to me, so I want to just keep that. I don’t want his name to be forgotten in the community. I know that he’s smiling down on me. I know this is what he’d really want me to do,” Small’s Mother Lavaina Smalls said.

“It’s a great loss not only for his family, but for us. We made his family a promise the day of his home going that we were going to find the person who did it and we did, but it doesn’t make it any easier. A crime in this city is something that we don’t look forward to seeing, but a way that we stick together is what we’re looking for. That’s what Kareem did,” Alderman Detric Leggett said.