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Feel Good Friday: Good News Food Pantry Update


— July 15, 2016

Back on June 3, we started “Feel Good Friday” as a means of showcasing attorneys and thosein the legal profession doing good things in their communities. It was also intended to be a bit of a pressure release, as so much legal news can be hard on the heart to read (and write, sometimes!). One of our first pieces involved the Good News Food Pantry (GNFP), the wonderful work it does in Jennings, Missouri and the fact that it needed some help. Part of that help came in the form of lawyers, members of the Minority Law Caucus (MC) and the New Lawyers Division (NLD) of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Part came from the generosity of a local Austin law firm and part came from our readers. Here then, is a Good News Food Pantry update for today’s Feel Good Friday.


Back on June 3, we started “Feel Good Friday” as a means of showcasing attorneys and those in the legal profession doing good things in their communities. It was also intended to be a bit of a pressure release, as so much legal news can be hard on the heart to read (and write, sometimes!). One of our first pieces involved the Good News Food Pantry (GNFP), the wonderful work it does in Jennings, Missouri and the fact that it needed some help. Part of that help came in the form of lawyers, members of the Minority Law Caucus (MC) and the New Lawyers Division (NLD) of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Part came from the generosity of a local Austin law firm and part came from our readers. Here then, is a Good News Food Pantry update for today’s Feel Good Friday.

Since that story broke, the GNFP received an additional $1,550.00 toward the purchase of a new forklift. That’s awesome news! They are, as of today, $3,670.00 shy of the $9,000.00 they need to get this much needed piece of equipment. So, this update is not just about the generosity of lawyers and readers and firms (Oh, my!), but a call to action, too.

To recap, the GNFP is one of the most active food banks in Missouri, feeding up to 100 families a day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year to the tune of about 3 million pounds of food every year. Without GNFP, many of the families it helps would go hungry.

Helping hungry people.
Helping hungry people.

So, why a forklift? GNFP gets anywhere from 2 – 6 box truck deliveries of food per day. The lift gate on the truck (what’s left of it after scrap metal thieves stole half of it!) barely worked in the first place. The forklift isn’t a luxury item. It’s a necessity. If any of you have ever worked retail, food service or in a grocery store and had the “good fortune” of being there on “truck day,” you already know why it’s needed.

Imagine unloading all of this by hand!
Imagine unloading all of this by hand!

For those of you who haven’t had that experience (I have), it means unloading those trucks by hand. Full trucks with heavy boxes unloaded by hand. Not only is this backbreaking work (and GNFP is staffed mainly by volunteers), but it slows everything down to a crawl. Rather than being able to quickly offload palletized bundles of food, each box must be removed one at a time. There are only so many hours in a day and this reduction in efficiency reduces the GNFP’s ability to serve its community because it’s not able to collect as much food.

GNFP's helpers.
GNFP’s helpers.

In the original piece, I wrote that “The MC’s call to action stated, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to do more than just pop in one day to help people when we’re in town?  Wouldn’t it be great to leave a lasting impression on one of our local communities?  The GNFP needs $5,000 [of a $9,000 total] for a forklift.  We think that between the MC and the NLD, we should be able to raise the money easily.’”

We still have a way to go, my friends. That’s why today’s Feel Good Friday is about YOU, whether or not you’re a lawyer. I’m putting out my own call to action (and putting my money where my mouth is).

Are you a Starbucks fan? Enjoy a mani-pedi every week? Eat out for lunch every day? Looking for a good cause (and a tax deduction)? Then I challenge you to donate.

Drink the office coffee for a week (that’s about $25.00). Skip a mani-pedi (that’s about $50.00). Brown bag it for a week (another $50.00). It all adds up. Your week of Folgers, chipped nail polish and tuna fish sandwiches could make a huge difference for the GNFP. It could make an even bigger difference to those the GNFP serves: folks who don’t even contemplate Starbucks as an option, have never had a mani-pedi and would love that tuna fish sandwich.

So, whadaya say? Are you up to the challenge of being the stars of this week’s Feel Good Friday?

If you can help, the donation site is here.

Join the conversation!