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Georgia Lawyers Take a Stand Against Hunger and Contribute Over 600,000 Pounds of Food to the State's Regional Food Banks

PRESS ADVISORY

Georgia Lawyers Take a Stand Against Hunger and Contribute Over 600,000 Pounds of Food to the State's Regional Food Banks

May 21, 2012

Attorney General Sam Olens announced today that the Georgia legal community raised 612,497 pounds of food to benefit the State’s seven regional food banks during the inaugural Georgia Legal Food Frenzy. Olens asked Georgia lawyers to challenge each other outside the courtroom during the statewide food drive competition by competing to raise food and funds to reduce hunger in Georgia.

A total of 220 law firms and legal organizations representing 15,621 employees competed for the grand prize, the Attorney General’s Cup. Solo-practitioner Adrienne P. Hobbs, PC won the honor this year -- raising an impressive 25,586 pounds of food, the most per capita statewide. Ms. Hobbs took a creative approach by renting the LeFont Movie Theater and selling tickets to a showing of the movie “World’s SmallestAirport,” a documentary about her husband’s grandfather and his brothers who were stunt pilots.”

Additionally, Georgia’s five law schools, Atlanta’s JohnMarshallLawSchool, Emory University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law, Mercer University School of Law and University of Georgia School of Law held their own competition. Mercer University took home this year’s title by raising 4,421 pounds of food (9 pounds per capita).

“I am exceedingly proud of the Georgia legal community for their overwhelming generosity and commitment to Georgia’s less fortunate families struggling with hunger,” said Olens. “These donations will assist our food banks with providing balanced, nutritional meals to families over the summer, especially children who rely on free or reduced lunches during the school year. I am elated by the success this first year and look forward to an even stronger competition next year.”

“This inaugural year of the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy engaged more than 200 firms, law schools and legal organizations in 51 cities statewide in the fight against hunger,” said Danah Craft, Executive Director of the Georgia Food Bank Association. “This was truly a team effort led by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia and Attorney General Sam Olens to benefit the seven regional food banks in Georgia. We are thrilled with the results. We’ll go into the summer strong and ready to help children and families who need food assistance over the summer months.”

“Over half a million Georgia kids live in poverty and one out of six Georgians lack access to adequate food,” said Kenneth Shigley, President of the State Bar of Georgia. “We in the legal profession have been blessed to be a blessing to others. The generous response of members of the legal community in Georgia to help our less fortunate neighbors through the Legal Food Frenzy has been a great example of lawyers helping to salvage lives in families that lack sufficient food for their children.”

“The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) has been honored to be a partner in the successful inaugural Georgia Legal Food Frenzy,” said Stephanie Kirijan, President of the State Bar of Georgia YLD.  “This event allowed the legal profession to band together and help nourish our communities by providing critical resources through food banks across the State.”

The Georgia Legal Food Frenzy is based on the successful model pioneered by Virginia’s former Attorney General, now Governor Bob McDonnell. After learning about the program and knowing the great need in Georgia, Olens joined forces with the State Bar of Georgia YLD and the Georgia Food Bank Association to replicate the competition in Georgia.

The Georgia Legal Food Frenzy was specifically timed to coincide with Law Day and the end of the school year to help the food banks prepare for the summer. During the summer months, the demand for food increases because children who depend on free or reduced school lunches are at home. Nearly 60% of Georgia’s public school students receive either a free or reduced lunch each day.

Georgia’s seven regional food banks work with more than 2,500 partner agencies and pantries to distribute more than 95 million pounds of food annually to all 159 counties in Georgia. All of the food collected has been donated directly to the regional food bank that serves each competitor’s community.

Olens thanked all who pitched in to make the Legal Food Frenzy a success. “I’d like to thank YLD President Stephanie Kirijan, YLD Community Service Co-Chairs Jonathan Poole and Ana Maria Martinez, Legal Food Frenzy Co-Chairs Deepa Subramanian and Kristi Wilson, State Bar President Ken Shigley, and Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director Danah Craft, who have made this food drive possible. Last, but not least, I appreciate the generosity of all of the Georgia lawyers and legal staff who contributed to this important campaign.”

The Winners of the Inaugural Legal Food Frenzy

Attorney General's Cup: Adrienne P. Hobbs, PC (25,586 lbs./employee)

Attorney General’s Cup – Law School Division: Mercer University Law School (9 lbs./employee)

Category Winners:

Sole Proprietorship: The Law Offices of Alex Susor, P.C. (12,100 lbs./employee). Also winner in total pounds category with 12,100 pounds.

Small Firm: McRae Brooks Warner LLC (5,300 lbs./employee). Also winner in total pounds category with 21,322 pounds.

Medium Firm: Coleman Talley LLP (780 lbs./employee). Also winner in total pounds category with 36,655 pounds.

Large Firm: Frederick J. Hanna and Associates PC (175 lbs./employee). Also winner in total pounds category with 70,042 lbs.

Legal Organization Per Capita Winner: State Court of Clarke County (352 lbs/employee).

Legal Organization Total Pounds Winner: Office of the Attorney General (15,417 lbs). 

Legal Organization - Corporate Division Per Capita and Total Pounds Winner: Georgia Power General Counsel Organization (329 lbs/employee;  13,169 lbs total).