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Attorneys, law firms to compete over who can raise the most money, food for local food banks

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Posted at 4:27 AM, Mar 31, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Attorneys and those in the legal industry cannot stamp hunger out in court but can stamp it out in their local community.

That is what attorneys across Virginia and in Hampton Roads are looking to do in April for the “Legal Food Frenzy.”

"Attorneys are very competitive,” Karen Joyner, the CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, said.

The statewide campaign will have attorneys compete to see who can raise the most food and money for their local food bank. Those competing are law firms, corporate counsels, law schools and legal organizations, among others in the law field.

"The attorneys can feel good about what they’ve done,” Joyner said. “The food banks always need the food and the money to purchase food."

The campaign will be critical now as food banks have seen large decreases in donations. Joyner said donations at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank have dropped by 28%. In a previous interview, Joyner said March and April are also some of the slowest donation periods.

“It brings to light a great need in the communities that we serve,” Joyner said.

The Legal Food Frenzy is in its 15th year. Joyner explained that it started with two law firms wanting to help the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

“I want to help; my colleagues want to help,” attorney Erin Jewell told News 3. “We think that no one on the Peninsula should be suffering from hunger or food insecurities."

Jewell is an attorney with the firm Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein. The firm will compete again this year, and Jewell said they've competed since the campaign started.

“We really give it a try, but it’s a friendly competition for a great cause,” Jewell said.

The firm gathered more than 8,300 pounds of food for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in 2019. They won that year and received a gavel trophy for raising the most in their region.

In total, the competition has raised more than 18.5 million pounds of food statewide since the campaign started.

Each region and the state will have a winner, but Joyner and Jewell agreed that the real winners are those who need the services provided by a local food bank.

“No matter how much an individual firm brings it in, every little bit counts,” Joyner said.

“The food bank also is a winner and its ability to help those in need,” Jewell said.

Related: Food banks see dip in donations, local gardens jump in to help with fresh produce

If you would like to donate food or money through one of the participating firms, simply go to the Legal Food Frenzy’s webpage. There you will find your local food bank and a list of attorneys, firms and legal organizations participating in the competition.

Attorneys, firms, and legal organizations can still sign up for the campaign. Information for those who would like to sign up can also be found on the Legal Food Frenzy’s webpage.