One of the best collateral benefits of practicing law is being a part of a diverse community of professionals. Lots of people are drawn to the legal profession, from tireless justice seekers to titans of industry and everyone can (hopefully) find their niche. Between your superiors, your clients, your peers and your support staff, interesting personalities abound. This means that, eventually, along with establishing your credibility and reputation, you can really be yourself and pursue your interests within that community of professionals who are also pursuing their own interests and goals.
One group that I became aware of recently has really made an impact on me. It merges my passion for food and the law and allows me to express my passions in a manner that I had not come across before. Each year, a group of volunteer lawyers runs a very special campaign called the Lawyer’s Campaign Against Hunger, which benefits the Maryland Food Bank. The Campaign has a long history in the state and next year will mark its 30th anniversary.
Twenty-nine years ago, a group of Maryland lawyers launched the Campaign in response to the American Bar Association’s resolution declaring a “fundamental right to be free from hunger.” Since then, Maryland lawyers have raised over $5 million dollars to support the food bank’s efforts to distribute more than 120,000 meals per day — nearly 44 million meals annually.
After learning more about the Campaign and the Maryland Food Bank, I joined the executive committee for the Campaign to marry my passion for food and the development of charitable giving and contribution to the community within the legal profession. I attended my first meeting Wednesday and was impressed with the dedication of very busy attorneys who left their billables behind for a lunch hour to determine how to make the most impact during the Campaign and raise much-needed funds for the Maryland Food Bank. It was truly inspirational.
This year,the executive committee for the Campaign has a target of raising $400,000 among our colleagues from Baltimore City and the surrounding counties. The Maryland Food Bank benefits directly from the Campaign, relying heavily on the funding to provide staple groceries and fresh produce to food-insecure communities statewide.
The Campaign is kicking off on Sept. 12 at a free event in Baltimore, although registration is required. More information can be found on the food bank’s website. I hope to see some of you Sept. 12 and please consider contributing to the Campaign this year along with hundreds of other lawyers all across Maryland.