GAINESVILLE, Ga.—Georgia Mountain Food Bank (GMFB) is excited to partner with the Georgia legal community again this year to fight hunger through the fifth annual Georgia Legal Food Frenzy competition held April 18 through 29.
“We are beyond grateful for the continued support of our legal community,” said Kay Blackstock, executive director of GMFB. “This competition is a great opportunity to gather the legal community together and rally them among a common cause.”
The Georgia Legal Food Frenzy is a partnership between the Georgia Attorney General, the Young Lawyers Division and the Georgia Food Bank Association. Lawyers statewide are challenged to compete outside the courtroom to raise food and funds for Georgia’s eight regional food banks, which serve 156,500 unique clients in Georgia on a weekly basis. All of the food and funds collected are donated to the regional food bank that serves each competitor’s community. In its first four years of competition, the Legal Food Frenzy raised the equivalent of more than 3.7 million pounds of food for Georgians in need.
“The involvement of our local firms in Legal Food Frenzy makes a huge impact on our efforts in North Georgia,” Blackstock said. “The food and monetary contributions we collect during the competition stay in our region, helping to serve more than 60 of Georgia Mountain Food Bank’s partner agencies throughout our service area of Hall, Dawson, Forsyth, Union and Lumpkin counties.”
Nearly 60 percent of Georgia’s public school students are eligible for either a free or reduced lunch each day, but fewer than 15 percent have access to a lunch program during the summer. The competition is timed to help the food banks go into summer strong and well-stocked to meet the increased demand for food.
“The timing of this competition comes at a critical time for the regional food banks to help them meet the increased demand for food during the summer months when kids are out of school,” said Danah Craft, Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director. “We know that the food and funds raised during this competition will make a difference in their communities.”
At the state level, the winner will receive the highly coveted “Attorney General’s Cup” from Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens. Awards will also be given in Sole Proprietor, Small Firm, Medium Firm, Large Firm, Legal Organization and Corporate Law Firm divisions. Any firm in the state can win, since the awards are based on a per person average (pounds raised divided by the number of employees in the firm).
Last year, Stewart, Melvin & Frost, LLP, collected the largest monetary total, and Hall County and the Solicitor’s Office collected the largest food total of the participating firms. In all, local law firms raised $10,757.50 and collected more than 2,221 pounds of food. The effort helped provide almost 55,000 meals to those in need throughout the five county service area of GMFB—an almost 20 percent increase from 2014.
“Last year, 19 firms participated in Hall and Forsyth counties directly benefiting GMFB,” Blackstock said. “With the summer months quickly approaching and our food supplies continuing to be low, we are looking to increase our participation this year and set ourselves up for another record breaking year. So, if your firm has not already signed up, now is your chance —because it takes us all coming together to have an impact on hunger. ”