Kentucky’s legal community raised more than 350,000 pounds, or 175 tons, of food through donations for families and children across the state, Attorney General Andy Beshear said Friday.
The effort is part of the inaugural Kentucky Legal Food Frenzy that takes donations of food, money and volunteer time during the competition announced in February by Beshear and partners.
Lawyers and staff competed outside the courtroom for two weeks – March 27 to April 7 – to raise food and funds for Kentucky’s food bank network. Northern Kentucky University's Chase College of Law, the Risk Firm, and Graydon were among the top donors.
A total of 125 law firms and legal organizations representing more than 2,500 attorneys and staff competed for the grand prize – the Attorney General’s Cup – Beshear said.
GE Appliances’ legal department won the grand prize by raising the equivalent of 33,379 pounds of food. Paducah’s Bryant Law Center, who won the Small Firm Award, missed winning the grand prize by 156 pounds of food; they donated 33,223 pounds total.
The Office of the Attorney General, the Prosecutors Advisory Council (PAC) and several local prosecutors joined the competition to raise food and funds for local food banks. The Office of the Attorney General donated the equivalent of 6,792 pounds of food, and PAC and the offices of county and commonwealths attorneys combined donated the equivalent of more than 51,000 pounds of food.
Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn and her staff won the Government and Public Service Award by donating 16,109 pounds.
Kentucky’s three law schools held their own competition. NKU’s Chase College of Law won the division title this year by raising the equivalent of 1,610 pounds.
“Congratulations to the Attorney General’s Cup winner GE Appliances’ legal department, NKU Chase College of Law, and all of the 2017 Kentucky Legal Food Frenzy winners,” Beshear said. “I could not be more proud of Kentucky’s legal community for its generosity toward those in need in our state. The true winners of this competition are the children who will receive healthy, balanced meals this summer.”
Tamara Sandberg, Kentucky Association of Food Banks executive director, said Beshear issued the challenge to the state’s legal community to take action against hunger, and “the Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Division answered that challenge with zeal.”
“On behalf of Kentucky’s food bank network, I want to express our gratitude to the Young Lawyers Division, Attorney General Beshear and all the firms, legal organizations and law schools that worked hard to help stock the shelves of food banks,” Sandberg said.
The Kentucky Legal Food Frenzy, a partnership between the Office of the Attorney General, Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, is timed to help food banks prepare for increased demand during the summer months when children do not have access to school meals.
Nearly all (94 percent) of Kentucky’s food bank client households with school-aged children receive free or reduced-price school lunch through the National School Lunch Program.
Only one in 13 school-aged children who receive free and reduced-priced lunch during the school year, however, have access to such meals during the summer months when school is out.
Kentucky’s seven regional food banks serve 53,000 Kentuckians each week. All of the food and funds collected during the Legal Food Frenzy benefit the regional food bank that serves each competitor’s community.
Beshear said a large part of the campaign’s success was the leadership behind the competition.
“I would like to thank the Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Chair Rebecca Schafer and campaign co-chairs Lee Metzger and Miranda Click of the Young Lawyers Division as well as Susan Rieber in my office,” Beshear said. “Their hard work and dedication made the inaugural Legal Food Frenzy a success. I appreciate the generosity of all Kentucky lawyers and legal staff who contributed to this important effort.”
Winners of the 2017 Kentucky Legal Food Frenzy
Corporate Legal Department/Grand Prize Winner: GE Appliances: 33,379 pounds. (Louisville)
Small Firm: Bryant Law Center: 5,537 pounds per attorney,33,223 pounds total (Paducah)
Large Firm: Wyatt Tarrant & Combs: 165 pounds per attorney, 19,645 pounds total (Lexington and Louisville)
Government and Public Service: Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office: 16,109 pounds (Lexington)
Medium Firm: Graydon: 386 pounds per attorney, 9,640 pounds total (Fort Mitchell)
Solo Firm: The Risk Firm: 2,063 pounds per attorney, 4,125 pounds total (Covington)
Law School: NKU Chase College of Law: 1,610 pounds (Highland Heights)
“My first priority is to protect Kentucky families and children, and each day far too many are struggling to obtain enough food for a healthy, active life,” Beshear said. “The Legal Food Frenzy will continue to be an opportunity for the state’s legal community to challenge each other outside the courtroom for the noble cause of reducing hunger.”