Legal Community Raises Record 1.4 Million Pounds of Food for Virginia's Food Banks
Richmond, Va.-- June 17, 2021-- This April, law firms, legal departments, government offices, and law schools across Virginia renewed their annual tradition of supporting the Commonwealth’s food banks through a friendly statewide competition in partnership with the Attorney General’s Office and Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. For the 15th Legal Food Frenzy (LFF), the legal community stepped up to the plate once again and raised the equivalent of 1.4 million pounds of food.
This year’s effort comes after a year of unprecedented need for food assistance. According to Feeding America, food insecurity in Virginia increased by 20% or 156,000 people in 2020, raising Virginia’s food insecurity rate to 956,000 people, or 11.2% of our population. Since the beginning of the pandemic last March, Virginia’s seven food banks and 1,500 partner agencies saw an enormous surge in demand for emergency food assistance – on average, 25% more people across the state seeking assistance. Compounded by disruptions to the food supply chain, food banks spent an astounding 450% more on purchased food in the past year just to keep up with this increased need.
“Our communities have never seen a year like 2020, and our food banks have done an incredible job of providing a safety net for those that have been disproportionately affected,” said Attorney General Herring. “The legal community has been a steadfast supporter of Virginia’s food banks for many years, and we will continue to do what we can to alleviate hunger across the Commonwealth.
The Legal Food Frenzy is an annual 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 provide more than 20 million pounds of food to Virginia’s food bank network since it launched statewide in 2007. This year, The Law Office of James Steele, PLLC from Southwest Virginia took overall first place by raising more than 6,000 pounds per person, claiming the coveted Attorney General Cup. There were seven regional winners – one for each food bank’s service area – and an additional 8 state-wide winners. The full list of winners can be found below.
Attorney General Herring recently hosted a virtual awards ceremony to recognize the 16 state-wide and regional winners of the 2021 campaign. “During a year filled with so much upheaval and uncertainty, we are incredibly grateful for the continued support from Virginia’s legal community,” 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 and meet the comprehensive needs of the people they serve. Our mission is made possible because of partnerships like this one with Virginia’s legal community.”
After 2020’s spring campaign was canceled for the first time in the history of the Legal Food Frenzy, the legal community came together last September and donated almost 500,000 pounds of food to Virginia’s food banks. In total, nearly two million pounds of food have been provided to families in need within the past year - more than in any other single year – because of the incredible generosity of Virginia’s law professionals.
Locally, $4,910 was raised for the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank with Hirschler raising $1,150. "Legal Food Frenzy sets an excellent example for our community," said Dan Maher, President & CEO of the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank. These firms often are in competitive settings in courtrooms and boardrooms, yet the issue of hunger has given them a common cause to rally around and address. It is an annual source of inspiration for us to benefit from this event."
Attorney General Cup: Overall winner, minimum 5-person office (per capita)
- The Law Office of James Steele, PLLC
Large-sized firms: (100+ employees)
- Gentry Locke (per capita)
- McGuireWoods LLP (total giving)
Law School Winners:
- Liberty University School of Law (per capita)
- University of Virginia School of Law (total giving)
Government & Public Service
- Chesapeake City Attorney’s Office (per capita)
- Supreme Court & Court of Appeals of Virginia (total giving)
Corporate Legal Departments
- Markel Corporation (per capita & total giving)
Regional Winners: (99 or fewer employees)
- Blue Ridge Area Food Bank: Flora Pettit PC
- Capital Area Food Bank (Northern VA): MercerTrigiani
- Feed More (Central VA): Sumner Immigration Law
- Feeding America Southwest Virginia: Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
- Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore: Roussos & Barnhart, PLC
- Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank: Hirschler
- Virginia Peninsula Food Bank: Kaufman & Canoles
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 program support throughout the Commonwealth.