Oregon Lawyers Exceed Goal In Fight Against Hunger
Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger (OLAH) exceeded all expectations by raising more than $104,000 in this year’s 6th annual fundraiser to benefit Oregon Food Bank (OFB). Last year’s donations from lawyers, legal professionals and law firms totaled more than $91,000.
OLAH is a non-profit corporation comprised of legal professionals in Oregon whose contributions enable OFB to turn every dollar contributed into six pounds of food for hungry people in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
With the economic downturn and high unemployment rate, OLAH knew this year’s fundraising drive was of utmost importance to people in need of assistance. The holidays are fast approaching, and OLAH has been Oregon Food Bank’s top holiday food and fund drive producer.
“Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger is an exceptional example of the power of individuals galvanized to meet a community need. This growing entity of volunteers and individual donors plays a big role in helping Oregon Food Bank keep its trucks on the road, bringing millions of pounds of food to a growing number of people in need here in the metro area and throughout the state,” said Rachel Bristol, Oregon Food Bank’s executive director.
This year, over 50 law firms and hundreds of individual attorneys in the Tri-County area and throughout the state participated. For six consecutive years, Lane Powell has won the Silver Barrel Award, which is awarded to the team with the largest overall contribution. This year, Lane Powell Spears Lubersky raised more than $21,000. Yates, Matthews and Morasch, P.C., received the Golden Can Award, which is awarded to the firm with the largest average per capita contribution, by raising more than $181 per person.
“OLAH’s tremendous success is really a double-edged sword,” said OLAH Board President Jim Poland. “The record-breaking results of this year’s drive is testimony to the generosity of our legal community and is just one example of their commitment to helping those in need. At the same time, our need to achieve such results demonstrates that the problem of hunger in Oregon continues to get worse.”
OLAH’s efforts have been phenomenal. Since its inception in 1997, OLAH’s fundraising efforts have raised $385,353, which has resulted in 2,312,118 pounds of food for Oregon Food Bank.
“We started off in 1997 by involving primarily large law firms in the downtown Portland area,” said Poland. “But each year we have tried to expand participation to include small firms, solo practitioners and legal professionals in the tri-county area and then throughout the state. This year we tried to involve more corporate legal departments too. As long as the need exists we will do our best each year to expand participation in order to help OFB continue their fight against hunger.”
The fight against hunger is imperative. In our prosperous state, hunger remains a serious problem.
- 720,000 people received emergency food last year through the OFB network, 40 percent were children under the age of 18.
- One in four children ate from an emergency food box at least once last year.
- The number of food boxes distributed has grown more than 44 percent since 1996.
- People seeking food are mostly families, working people, seniors and disabled.
Oregon Food Bank is a community based non-profit organization dedicated to fighting hunger and its underlying causes throughout Oregon and Washington’s Clark County area. Food from a variety of sources moves through its warehouses to 300 local hunger relief agencies in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Clark Counties, and through a network of regional food banks to an additional 500 agencies throughout Oregon. Last year, these agencies provided emergency food boxes to 720,000 people at least once each, and served 4.4 million emergency meals. Another 120,000 people received food through non-emergency programs such as senior centers and low-income day care. For more information, contact Oregon Food Bank at (503) 282-0555 or visit www.oregonfoodbank.org.
Legal professionals wishing to participate in the fundraising drive or who would like to learn more about OLAH, please contact OLAH Board President Jim Poland at (503) 321-6130.