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New England News

"Legal Food Frenzy" Aims to Restock Mass. Food Banks

Billy Brown, flickr

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office is now encouraging legal organizations across the commonwealth in a food drive that aims to restock the state’s food banks at a time where donations are needed the most.

From now until May 10th, bar associations, district attorney’s offices, and other legal organizations across Massachusetts are collecting food and monetary donations as part of the 2013 Legal Food Frenzy. The statewide food donation drive is now entering its fourth year. The program is spearheaded by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Brad Puffer, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, said that friendly competition drives the campaign, which last year donated the equivalent of 430,000 pounds of food to the four Food Banks of Massachusetts.

“A wide range of legal organizations get involved and they all get involved in a very spirited way,” said Puffer.

Liz Katz, president of the Hampshire County Bar Association, the legal organization that won last year’s Legal Food Frenzy, said that she’s challenged others to participate in the drive.

“What I did this year was I threw down the gauntlet to our other friends in Western Mass, the Hampden County Bar and the Franklin County,” said Katz. “Us lawyers sometimes are pretty competitive so I think that’s a good incentive for people to donate.”

The Berkshire County District Attorney’s office is participating in the drive for the first time this year. Robert Kinzer, the office’s second assistant district attorney, said that they’ve already found creative ways to collect monetary and food donations from the staff for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Major Donna Hansen of the Salvation Army in North Adams said that traditionally, food pantries are most in need of donations for needy families during springtime.

“Children will be home so the demand of food on individuals in their homes will be greater,” said Hansen. “And then you’re looking into the summer when people are home all the time, so it’s very important that food pantries have food and people remember to donate, and the drives are being done to help fill the pantries.”

The four food banks in Massachusetts, which will benefit from the Legal Food Frenzy, supply local food pantries and meal centers throughout the year.

Brad Puffer from the Attorney General’s office said that a recent study highlights the need for emergency food assistance in the commonwealth.

“Every year the Greater Boston Food Bank participates in a study annually across the country and we know that through that study the four food banks here in Massachusetts feed as many as 800,000 low income people annually, and that 1 in 11 people in the commonwealth visits a food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter every year,” said Puffer. “So it’s definitely in need.”

Since its inception the Legal Food Frenzy has donated the equivalent of more than 1,000,000 pounds of food to food banks. This year’s competition runs until May 10th.

For more information visit: http://www.mass.gov/ago/about-the-attorney-generals-office/community-programs/legal-food-frenzy/

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