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Attorney General Sam Olens Announces Statewide Food Drive Competition Among Georgia Lawyers

PRESS ADVISORY

Attorney General Sam Olens Announces Statewide Food Drive Competition Among Georgia Lawyers

February 1, 2012

Today, Attorney General Sam Olens announced that the Office of the Attorney General has joined forces with the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Food Bank Association to launch the inaugural “Georgia Legal Food Frenzy,” a statewide food drive competition among Georgia lawyers. The competition will take place April 23, 2012 – May 4, 2012.

The goal of the “Georgia Legal Food Frenzy” is to raise food and funds for Georgia’s seven regional food banks, which work with more than 2,500 partner agencies and pantries to distribute more than 90 million pounds of food annually to all 159 counties in Georgia. The competition will occur as food banks are preparing for the critical summer months when they see a spike in demand. Nearly 60% of Georgia’s public school students are eligible for either a free or reduced lunch each day, and families of many of these children rely on food banks to provide a complete, balanced meal when their children are not in school. All of the food collected will be donated directly to the regional food bank that serves each competitor’s community.

The statistics on hunger in Georgia are staggering. More than half a million Georgia kids live in poverty and one out of six Georgians lack access to adequate food, which is well above the national average. Unemployment and underemployment are driving the increase in demand for food in Georgia, with 27% of people served by regional food bank partner agencies reporting that they are seeking help for the first time in their lives. Seniors with special dietary needs and larger households are increasingly turning to food pantries for help due to the economic distress of family members.

“During this Great Recession, many people may not realize that more and more of our fellow Georgians, including working families, are turning to their local food banks or pantries to put food on the table,” said Olens. “The ‘Georgia Legal Food Frenzy’ gives lawyers across the State the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our less fortunate neighbors. I am proud to chair the inaugural 'Georgia Legal Food Frenzy' and look forward to robust participation statewide in this important effort to reduce hunger in Georgia.”

“In Depression 2.0, with its grinding unemployment, over half a million Georgia kids live in poverty and one out of six Georgians lack access to adequate food,” said Kenneth L. Shigley, President of the State Bar of Georgia. “We in the legal profession have been blessed to be a blessing to others. I urge all members of the legal community in Georgia to help our less fortunate neighbors through the ‘Georgia Legal Food Frenzy.’ Give until it feels good!”

“We are honored by the commitment and leadership that Attorney General Olens and the attorneys in the Young Lawyers Division have shown in making this ‘Georgia Legal Food Frenzy’ a real statewide event,” said Danah Craft, Executive Director of the Georgia Food Bank Association. “This will bring new resources into the emergency food system at a time when they are needed most.” 

“The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is honored to be a part of the inaugural ‘Georgia Legal Food Frenzy,’ which is an opportunity for the legal profession to help nourish our communities,” said Stephanie Kirijan, President of the State Bar of Georgia’s YLD. “This event will allow us to team up with food banks across the State to provide critical resources for low-income Georgians who suffer from hunger, and it is as simple as picking up extra items while food shopping.”

The “Georgia Legal Food Frenzy” is based on the successful model pioneered by Virginia’s former Attorney General, now Governor Bob McDonnell. Olens has challenged Georgia lawyers to exceed the total amount raised by Virginia lawyers during their inaugural competition. “In their first year of competition, Virginia raised over 600,000 pounds of food,” said Olens. “My goal is to substantially surpass that total our first year in Georgia, and I know Georgia lawyers are up to the challenge.”
 

All attorneys in Georgia, from law firms, to solo-practitioners, to public sector offices are encouraged to participate. The office which raises the most food and funds statewide will be awarded the Attorney General’s Cup. Awards will also be given to the winners of several different categories.

Registration begins today. Additional details and registration instructions can be found at the www.galegalfoodfrenzy.org.