Lawyers Fighting Hunger
This post is by Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan. Each year Attorney General Donovan’s office leads the Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive, which brings together law firms and lawyers from around the state to participate in a friendly competition that works to solve hunger in Vermont. The Attorney General has written this piece as a kick-off for the start of the annual food drive.
Studies by the Vermont Foodbank and Feeding America show that one in four Vermonters turn to food shelves and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. That’s around 153,000 of our neighbors, community members, and friends, including an estimated 33,900 children and 26,010 elder Vermonters.
In September of 2017 and 2018, I was proud to announce that my office was collaborating with the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Bar Association for our annual Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive and ask the Vermont legal community to get involved to help those in need.
Over those two years, the event has been an incredible success with dozens of Vermont law firms and offices signing up in advance to participate. In the two years, Vermont lawyers have raised over $28,000 and collected over 7,000 food items that went directly to the Vermont Foodbank to help those who need it most. Thank you to all who participated in the last two years.
Given our past success, I’m very happy to announce the kick-off of the 3rd Annual Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive. The 3rd Annual Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive will run for two weeks, from September 9th through 20th. September is Hunger Action Month in Vermont. We will once again have a friendly competition to recognize the law firms and offices that raise the highest totals of food and/or money during the event.
Being a lawyer and practicing law in Vermont has always been something I viewed as a privilege. As a member of the legal community, I firmly believe that it is our shared duty to help those in need when we can. But even with the success of our Lawyers Fighting Hunger Drive, the problem of hunger persists in Vermont. Here’s the reality: every day, Vermonters are being forced to make tough choices to keep food on the table—choosing between paying for food or paying for necessary living expenses like housing, transportation and utilities. A staggering 71% of Vermont Foodbank clients report purchasing inexpensive or unhealthy food because they could not afford more healthy food options.
If you are a Vermont lawyer or part of Vermont’s legal community, I hope that you will join my office, the Vermont Foodbank, and the Vermont Bar Association in taking part in this year’s event. If you’ve already signed up—thank you! If you haven’t yet signed up and want to, please e-mail Kim.Ingraham@vermont.gov. And I encourage everyone to follow along on social media at #VTLegalFoodDrive or by visiting the Attorney General’s Office on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Let’s make the 3rd Annual Lawyers Fighting Hunger Food Drive another success, so that together we can help make sure that no one in our state goes hungry.
Vermont Attorney General