Each spring, sure as the trees bloom and pollen fills the air, Virginia’s lawyers come together in a friendly competition to raise much-needed food and funds for Virginia’s seven regional food banks.
The Legal Food Frenzy is a collaboration of the Attorney General’s office, the Young Lawyers Division of the Virginia Bar Association, and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. It has leveraged the competitive spirits of the Commonwealth’s legal professionals to the tune of more than 18 million pounds since it launched statewide in 2007.
This April, 161 law firms, legal departments, government offices, and law schools raised 1.3 million pounds at a time of year when hunger is not top of mind for many. However, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap report, 863,000 Virginians struggle to put enough nutritious food on the table throughout the year. Food banks partner with 1,600 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other service providers in Virginia to help ensure no one goes hungry when they fall on hard times.
The challenge has grown significantly since it was first introduced in the Norfolk region by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore in 1991. Multiple states, including Georgia and Kentucky, have followed Virginia’s lead and adopted the model to raise funds for their food banks statewide as well.
“Far too many of our friends and neighbors in communities around the Commonwealth are still struggling with food insecurity, and our food banks need all the support they can get for their work to strengthen the safety net,” said Attorney General Herring. “The legal community has risen to the occasion time and again, and we will continue to do so until all cupboards are full.”
This year, Sumner Immigration Law of Richmond took overall first place by raising 2,264 pounds per person, claiming the coveted Attorney General’s Cup. Regents University won the Law School Cup, while the Prince William County Attorney’s Office and Norfolk Southern won the statewide categories for ‘Government and Public Service’ and ‘Corporate Legal Department,’ respectively. For the first time, winners from each food bank’s service area will be recognized at a ceremony in Richmond next month. The full list of regional winners can be found below.
“We are grateful to the entire legal community for its unwavering support,” said Eddie Oliver, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, a partner state association of Feeding America. “Virginia’s food banks are working harder than ever to secure more nutritious foods, build innovative partnerships, and meet the comprehensive needs of the people they serve. This work leads to more sustainable solutions but requires more resources to succeed, and we simply could not do it without the Legal Food Frenzy.”
In addition to thanking the food drive coordinators and representatives across the state, Attorney General Herring offers a special thanks to the Virginia Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division co-chairs, Will Prince from Thompson McMullan and Alex Cuff from McGuireWoods.
About the Federation of Virginia Food Banks
The Federation of Virginia Food Banks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit state association of food banks affiliated with Feeding America and is the largest hunger-relief network in the Commonwealth. Comprising the seven regional Virginia/Washington DC food banks, the Federation supports the food banks in providing food, funding, education, advocacy, and programs throughout the Commonwealth.