Food drive a friendly competition among lawyers to generate donations for 10 regional food banks
Citing the unprecedented need for food donations in light of the continuing recession, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and the Indiana State Bar Association today set into motion the second annual March Against Hunger statewide food drive.
Law firms and lawyers compete to raise the largest amounts in donations, both monetarily and in quantities of nonperishable foods, to benefit 10 regional food banks. Last year’s friendly competition by 45 participating law offices across Indiana generated the equivalent of more than 76 tons of food.
“As I have traveled around the state, it is alarming to see food bank shelves running short of supplies because demand from unemployed families is so steep,” Zoeller said. “So I am pleased to see those in the legal profession step up to serve their fellow Hoosiers who struggle to put food on the table. Their generosity reflects a civic-minded commitment to public service that makes me proud to be a lawyer.”
Zoeller in his individual capacity is again partnering with the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) and the nonprofit food-bank umbrella organization Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) to organize March Against Hunger.
A recent study by FIsH found that more than 694,500 people, including 295,857 children, receive emergency food assistance each year through the 10 regional food banks. On a weekly basis, an estimated 117,900 Hoosiers receive emergency food assistance from a food pantry, soup kitchen or other agency, the FIsH study found.
“The food shortage is a significant impediment to having a quality and contributing life,” ISBA President Roderick H. Morgan said. “I am confident that Indiana lawyers will shoulder their responsibility to help Hoosiers in need. I challenge our state’s legal community to share FIsH’s commitment to end hunger – and to spread the word.”
“We appreciate Attorney General Zoeller’s dedication to hunger relief, and are grateful for the generosity of Hoosier lawyers,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of FIsH and an attorney. “Food banks are the single largest source of food to most emergency food programs around the state, making food donations critical to the help that we are able to provide.”
The competition among law offices to collect donations starts March 15 and ends March 31. Firms may make monetary donations to count as five pounds of food for every $1 donated. Monetary contributions and donations of nonperishable foods will be steered to the regional food bank nearest the donor.
Firms will compete in each of three divisions to raise the most donations: law firms of 25 lawyers or more, small and sole practitioners of one to 24 lawyers, and public and nonprofit lawyers. The largest-donating law office in each division will receive a trophy: the Attorney General’s Cup.
Winners of last year’s March Against Hunger included Barnes & Thornburg LLP in the large-firm division, the Evansville-based firm Ziemer, Stayman, Weitzel and Shoulders in the small-firm division, and attorney Philip Siegel of Evansville in last year’s sole-practitioner division.
Hoosiers not employed by a law firm who want to donate can contribute nonperishable foods at a participating firm or by visiting the FIsH Web site at https://feedingindianashungry.org/.
“Lawyers deal every day with the problems of their clients – problems that at their root are often economic in nature. So as a lawyer, I am optimistic that people in my profession will dig a little deeper despite their own financial challenges to meet the needs of Hoosiers served by food banks,” Zoeller added.
Donation totals and competition winners will be announced after the March Against Hunger food drive concludes March 31. A list of participating firms will be posted at http://www.atg.in.gov/.
NOTE: To read the landmark study on hunger in Indiana, visit https://feedingindianashungry.org/.