Kyle Waide (from left), president and CEO, Atlanta Community Food Bank; Chris Carr, Georgia attorney general; and James Stevens of Troutman Sanders and Legal Food Frenzy Advisory Committee. (Courtesy photo) Kyle Waide (from left), president and CEO, Atlanta Community Food Bank; Chris Carr, Georgia attorney general; and James Stevens of Troutman Sanders and Legal Food Frenzy Advisory Committee. (Courtesy photo)

Law firms and legal organizations across the state raised a record-breaking $419,321 and 17,617 pounds of food during the 8th Annual Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, Attorney General Chris Carr announced Friday at the conclusion of the campaign.

Those contributions will provide 1.7 million meals for Georgia’s food banks, a 9.5% increase from last year, Carr said.

“Each year, our legal community steps up to the plate and delivers for Georgia’s children and its families,” Carr said in a news release. “To all who participated by donating in any amount, and in any way, thank you for breaking another donation record this year. Your contributions will help our communities thrive.”

The frenzy is timed to help food banks around the state when they need help the most.

“People don’t realize that for many kids, the end of school year isn’t a happy occasion,” executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association Danah Craft said in Carr’s news release. “Over 60 percent of Georgia’s children rely on free and reduced [cost] lunch at school, but when school is done so are those meals. The 1.7 million meals that Georgia’s legal community raised will be critical in ensuring these kids have proper nutrition all year-round.”

Since its inception in 2012 under former Attorney General Sam Olens (now with Dentons), the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy has raised the equivalent of 8.9 million meals for Georgia’s food banks. Giving is tracked, and awards are earned, taking advantage of the profession’s competitive nature for good.

“The real winners here are the families with children who will have access to food over the summer, thanks to the generosity of Georgia’s Legal Community,” Craft said in an email about the campaign.

Still, the frenzy revealed the lawyer winners Friday.

The grand prize is called the “Attorney General’s Cup,” and it’s calculated on a per capita basis based on the number of employees in the firm, Craft said. Criminal defense attorney Joe Habachy won the AG’s cup for the fifth time, raising $26,940. That is the equivalent of 107,760 meals for Atlanta Community Food Bank, Craft said.

The “State Bar of Georgia President’s Cup” award goes to the organization with the highest total points, regardless of the number of employees. Firms get four points for every dollar raised, and one point for a pound of food, Craft said. Bonus points are awarded for volunteering, social media tags and delivering food and funds to the food banks.

Coleman Talley, a full service firm with offices in Valdosta and Atlanta, won the State Bar President’s Cup. Coleman Talley raised $34,250. That’s the equivalent of 137,000 meals donated to Second Harvest of South Georgia, Craft said.

Coleman Talley has 36 lawyers and earned 172,125 total points—nearly double the points of the large firm winner, which has more than 1,000 lawyers.

Coleman Talley won the State Bar Cup for the third straight year after winning the “Medium Firm Division” for the first five years of the competition, Craft said.

She added that the “Large Firm Division” “was extremely competitive with King & Spalding winning the total points category with 94,307 points and Troutman Sanders oh so close as a runner-up with 94,172 points—so only 135 points separated them.”

“Georgia’s lawyers continue to amaze by their commitment to this great cause,” State Bar of Georgia president-elect Darrell Sutton said in Carr’s news release. “Raising more than $400,000 and more than 17,000 pounds of food is amazing in and of itself. But to outperform last year’s Legal Food Frenzy results by nearly 10% is astounding. Attorney General Carr should be commended for championing this competition. Because of the unique partnership between him, the Georgia Food Bank Association and the State Bar of Georgia, fewer of Georgia’s children will go hungry this summer, and we are one step closer to ending food insecurity.”

Organizers found a boost this year from a new prize. Carr challenged law firms and individuals to donate the equivalent of “one billable hour.” As a result, the Legal Food Frenzy website will recognize 144 lawyers for donating $500 or more during the 2019 campaign. They are called “VIPs.”

Winners and the organizations they helped include:

Grand Prize Attorney General’s Cup Winner Joe S. Habachy – 134,950 points per person Atlanta Community Food Bank

Grand Prize Bar President’s Award Winner Coleman Talley – 172,125 total points Second Harvest of South Georgia (Valdosta)

Sole Proprietor (1-2 Employees) Winner Page Perry – 10,725 points per person Atlanta Community Food Bank

Attorney Justin Oliverio – 18,525 total points Atlanta Community Food Bank

Small Firm (3 – 20 Employees) Winner Jenkins & Roberts – 5,450 points per person Atlanta Community Food Bank

Squire Patton Boggs – 40,481 total points Atlanta Community Food Bank

Medium Firm (21-100 Employees) Winner Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker – 1,854 points per person and 40,802 total points

Large Firm (101+ Employees) Winner BakerHostetler – 506 points per person Atlanta Community Food Bank

King & Spalding – 94,307 total points Atlanta Community Food Bank

Corporate, In-House Counsel Winner Serta Simmons Bedding – 5,506 points per person and 44,047 total points Atlanta Community Food Bank

Judicial Winner Augusta Judges – 936 points per person and 21,536 total points Golden Harvest Food Bank

Legal Organization Winner Georgia Tech office of legal affairs – 4,761 points per person and 66,651 total points Atlanta Community Food Bank

Law School Winner – Law School Cup Mercer Law School – 33 points per person Middle Georgia Community Food Bank

More Regional Leaders:

Atlanta Community Food Bank Large Firm Total Points Runner up - Troutman Sanders - 94,172 total points

America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia Regional Total Points Winner - Hunter Maclean - 18,619 total points Regional Per Capita Winner - The Pedigo Law Firm - 1570 points per person

Chattanooga Area Food Bank Regional Total Points Winner - Cook & Connelly - 4,500 total points Regional Per Capita Winner - The Minor Firm - 72.5 points per person

Food Bank of Northeast Georgia Regional Total Points Winner - Silver & Archibald - 6,197.5 total points Regional Per Capita Winner - Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley - 216 points per person

Feeding the Valley Regional Total Points - Hall Smith Booth (Columbus) - 1,560 Total Points Regional Per Capita - Morgan Lyle - 826 points per person

Golden Harvest Food Bank Regional Total Points Runner Up – Fulcher Hagler – 24,387.5 total points Regional Per Capita Runner Up – Durham Law Firm – 2239.4 points per person

Georgia Mountain Food Bank Regional Total Points Winner – Stewart, Melvin & Frost – 14,230 total points Regional Per Capita Winner – The Law Office of Michelle Hall – 766.7 points per person

Middle Georgia Community Food Bank Regional Total Points and Per Capita Winner – The Law Offices of Connie L. Williford – 8,100 total points and 1,350 points per person Regional Per Capita Runner Up – Westmoreland Patterson Moseley & Hinson – 159.3 points per person

Second Harvest of South Georgia Regional Runner Up Total Points and Per Capita Points – Tifton Bar Association - 10,625 total points and 265.6 points per person