HAMPTON ROADS, VA. – Lawyers and lawyers cannot eradicate hunger in court, but in their community.
This is what lawyers across Virginia and Hampton Roads are planning to do for the Legal Food Frenzy this April.
“Lawyers are very competitive,” said Karen Joyner, CEO of Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.
The nationwide campaign will see lawyers compete against each other to see who can raise the most food and money for their local food bank. Competitors include law firms, management consultants, law schools and legal organizations in the legal field.
“The attorneys can feel good about what they did,” Joyner said. “The food banks always need the food and money to buy groceries.”
The campaign will be crucial now as donations in the food banks have plummeted. Joyner said donations to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank were down 28%. In a previous interview, Joyner said March and April were also some of the slowest donation periods.
“It brings to light a great need in the communities we serve,” said Joyner.
The Legal Food Frenzy is in its 15th year. Joyner explained that it started with two law firms trying to help the Foodbank in southeast Virginia and the East Coast.
“I want to help; my colleagues want to help,” Attorney Erin Jewell told News 3. “We believe no one on the peninsula should be hungry or food insecure.”
Jewell is a lawyer at Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein. The company will be running again this year, and Jewell said they have been up and running since the campaign began.
“We’re really trying, but it’s a friendly competition for a good cause,” said Jewell.
The company raised more than 8,300 pounds of groceries for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in 2019. They won that year and received a hammer trophy for collecting the most in their region.
In total, the competition has raised more than 18.5 million pounds of groceries across the country since the campaign began.
Every region and state will have a winner, but Joyner and Jewell agreed that the real winners are those who need the services of a local food bank.
“No matter how much a single company brings in, every little bit counts,” said Joyner.
“The food bank is also a winner and its ability to serve those in need,” Jewell said.
Related: Food banks see a decline in donations, local gardens step in to help with fresh produce
If you would like to donate food or money through one of the participating companies, simply visit the Legal Food Frenzy website. There you can find your local food bank and a list of attorneys, firms and legal organizations participating in the competition.
Lawyers, companies and legal organizations can still sign up for the campaign. Information for those who wish to register can also be found on the Legal Food Frenzy website.