Attorney General Sam Olens announced today that the Georgia legal community has reached a major milestone by raising the equivalent of 1,140,627 pounds of food during the 2014 Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, a 36% increase from last year. This is the third annual food drive in which lawyers and staff compete outside the courtroom for two weeks to raise food and funds for Georgia’s seven regional food banks. The competition took place April 21 – May 2, 2014. Since its inception in 2012, the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy has collectively raised the equivalent of 2.5 million pounds of food.
A total of 277 law firms and legal organizations representing 16,000 employees in 45 cities competed for the grand prize, the Attorney General’s Cup. Sole proprietor Joe Habachy of Joe S. Habachy, PC in Atlanta won the honor this year -- raising an impressive 15,610 pounds of food, the most per capita statewide.
Georgia’s five law schools held their own competition. Georgia State University School of Law, led by Chris Collier and Wayne Satterfield, won the competition for the first time this year. They raised the equivalent of 14,680.64 pounds of food, or 27.95 pounds per person.
“Congratulations to the Attorney General’s Cup winner Joe Habachy, all of the 2014 Georgia Legal Frenzy winners, and everyone who participated in this year’s competition,” said Olens. “Georgia’s legal community has once again answered the call to help Georgians struggling with hunger, not only meeting but exceeding our goal of one million pounds. I am deeply grateful to the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar for their leadership and commitment to the Legal Food Frenzy and to our seven regional food banks that serve less fortunate Georgians every day.”
“The amazing success of the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy continues to demonstrate what the legal community of our state can accomplish when we make the effort and work together,” said Charles Ruffin, State Bar of Georgia president. “Surpassing this significant milestone is a major achievement for an initiative that has existed for only three years. I commend Attorney General Olens for his leadership of this project from its inception and thank the members of the State Bar’s Young Lawyers Division for providing the energy and legwork necessary for this success. When it comes to fulfilling our duty to help others, Georgia lawyers rise to the occasion.”
“When the 2014 Legal Food Frenzy began, I predicted that with Georgia’s more than 10,000 current and future young lawyers promoting and recruiting firms and legal organizations to participate in it, as well as acting as donation sites, this would be the most successful Legal Food Frenzy yet,” said Darrell Sutton, State Bar Young Lawyers Division president. “With today’s announcement that the 2014 Legal Food Frenzy surpassed its one million pound goal, that prediction was proven true. The young lawyers in every corner of this state and everywhere in between can today take pride in knowing that because of their efforts, more Georgia children than ever before will avoid food insecurity this summer.”
“Attorney General Olens challenged the legal community to raise one million pounds of food during this year's Legal Food Frenzy, and the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia (YLD) answered that challenge with leadership and enthusiasm,” said Danah Craft, Georgia Food Bank Association executive director. “On behalf of Georgia Food Bank Association's member food banks, I want to express our gratitude to the YLD, Attorney General Olens and all the firms and law schools that participated. The food and funds raised during this competition will provide the equivalent of 950,000 meals over the summer months.”
The Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, a partnership between the Office of the Attorney General, the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division and the Georgia Food Bank Association, is 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 are eligible for either a free or reduced lunch each day. In addition, a recent report by Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief charity in the United States, ranked Georgia fourth in the nation for childhood hunger and found that 28.1% of Georgia children are food insecure.
Georgia’s seven regional food banks distributed over 103 million pounds of food last year to all 159 counties in Georgia. All of the food collected during the Legal Food Frenzy has been donated directly to the regional food bank that serves each competitor’s community.
Olens expressed his gratitude to the leadership of the 2014 competition. “I’d like to thank YLD president Darrell Sutton; chair of the YLD Legal Food Frenzy Committee Jonathan Poole; 2014 Legal Food Frenzy co-chairs Jessica Nix, Lisa Robinson and Katie Willet; State Bar president Charles Ruffin; Georgia Food Bank Association executive director Danah Craft; and the city representatives throughout the state whose hard work and dedication made this year’s Legal Food Frenzy a success. Last, but not least, I appreciate the generosity of all of the Georgia lawyers and legal staff who contributed to this important effort.”
The Winners of the 2014 Legal Food Frenzy
Attorney General’s Cup: Joe S. Habachy, PC, Atlanta (15,610 lbs. per person)
Attorney General’s Cup, Law School: Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta (18,475 lbs./ 27.95 lbs per person)
Sole Proprietor (1-2), Per Capita and Total Pounds: Walter G. Sammons, Jr. , Warner Robins (10,243 lbs./5,062 lbs. per person)
Small Firm (3-20), Per Capita and Total Pounds: Jenkins & Roberts LLC, College Park (30,300 lbs./5,050 lbs. per person)
Medium Firm (21-100), Per Capita and Total Pounds: Coleman Talley LLP, Valdosta (87,640 lbs./1,718 lbs. per person)
Large Firm (101+), Per Capita and Total Pounds: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Atlanta (130,344 lbs./606 pounds per person)
Legal Organization, Per Capita: Office of Superior Court Judge of Columbia County, Evans (5,062 lbs. per person)
Legal Organization, Total Pounds: Office of Dekalb County Solicitor General, Decatur (52,595 lbs.)
Corporate Law Department, Per Capita: Aflac, Columbus (448 lbs. per person)
Corporate Law Department, Total Pounds: Georgia Power and Southern Company Legal Services, Atlanta (12,639 lbs.)