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Feel Good Friday: Help the Good News Food Pantry


— June 3, 2016

We’re starting a new feature here at LegalRead.com: Feel Good Friday. So often, the news we report is, well, not “feel good.” Such is the nature of legal issues; sure, we get to report on victories for justice but we also report on a lot of sad issues. Our first Feel Good Friday piece was on a local attorney in Pflugerville, Texas dedicated to giving back to his community via his work on the board of the Pflugerville Education Foundation. Then, just as I was set to cover something else, this story crossed my desk. It’s a heart warmer if ever there was one. So, I’m adding a second Feel Good Friday piece today. Let’s help the Good News Food Pantry.


We’re starting a new feature here at LegalRead.com: Feel Good Friday. So often, the news we report is, well, not “feel good.” Such is the nature of legal issues; sure, we get to report on victories for justice but we also report on a lot of sad issues. Our first Feel Good Friday piece was on a local attorney in Pflugerville, Texas dedicated to giving back to his community via his work on the board of the Pflugerville Education Foundation. Then, just as I was set to cover something else, this story crossed my desk. It’s a heart warmer if ever there was one. So, I’m adding a second Feel Good Friday piece today. Let’s help the Good News Food Pantry.

The story came to my attention through a Minority Law Caucus (MC) call to action. The MC has joined forces with the New Lawyers Division (NLD) of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) to help the Good News Food Pantry (GNFP). The GNFP is an amazing food bank in Jennings, Missouri (near Ferguson). This organization gives more food than any other pantry in the state at about 3M pounds per year. The region the GNFP serves has a population of very poor and very hungry people and GNFP is open 6 days a week to feed hundreds of families each month (typically up to 100 families per day). They do this on a very tight budget.

A basket of vegetables; image courtesy of www.goodnewsfoodpantry.org.
A basket of vegetables; image courtesy of www.goodnewsfoodpantry.org.

The majority of the food received by the GNFP is delivered in an old box truck and is collected from grocery stores and restaurants in the area, as well as surplus perishables from the regional food bank. A typical day sees that truck deliver 2 – 6 loads. The truck is old and the lift gate is barely functional; on top of which, scrap metal thieves recently removed half of it and it can’t be used to unload pallets of food anymore. The GNFP needs a forklift, not just for greater efficiency in operations but to spare the bodies of the already hardworking volunteers. The longer it takes to unload the truck, the less food can be delivered and fewer families can be fed.

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.”

Well, guess what? The focus of Feel Good Friday is on law firms and related organizations doing good things for their communities. In addition to the MC and NLD, a local Texas firm, Justinian & Associates, PLLC, contacted me with this statement from its founder, Justinian C. Lane:

“It’s terrible that in this country we have anyone who does not have enough food to eat.  Thankfully, food banks such as GNFP fill the critical need of feeding hungry men, women, and children.  The generosity of the volunteers at the Good News Food Pantry serves as an example to all of us on how to give back to a community.  I am happy to personally pledge $1,000.00 to fund the Pantry and I hope that other lawyers who are fortunate enough to be able to do so will donate to fill this critical needI am also matching, dollar-for-dollar, the donations made by any employees of the firm.” [Emphasis added.]

This is Feel Good Friday, my friends. Lawyers and legal organizations, often accused of caring only about the money in their pockets, are reaching into those pockets to help a worthy cause in another state.

If you can help, the donation site is here. I’m going to break one of the rules of journalism (report the news, don’t “interfere”) by telling you that I will be making a donation. I’m hundreds of miles away from the GNFP, but no one should go hungry. If they can’t get this forklift, the number of people who won’t be fed because the GNFP’s ability to receive deliveries will be lessened will increase. I don’t have to be part of that community to care.

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