SF legal community provides over $3,000,000 worth of much-needed food, thanks to Food from the Bar

Food from the Bar Chairs Jonathan Storper and Jim Donato

The San Francisco legal community really raised the bar in 2011, breaking all their previous records by bringing in $513,783 and 13,386 pounds of food to help end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Since the San Francisco Food Bank can turn every dollar donated into $6 worth of food, that adds up to well over $3,000,000 worth of much-needed groceries for hungry families. Firms also completed 700 volunteer shifts, sorting and packing tons of food in our warehouse.

Now in its 20th year, Food from the Bar is a month-long campaign, in partnership with The Bar Association of San Francisco, that challenges law firms and legal departments throughout the city to fight hunger. It results in creative fundraising projects – including a miniature golf course that materialized in one law office, and attention-getting costumes, like the hotdog and peapod outfits sported by this year’s event chairs, Jim Donato (Partner, Shearman & Sterling) and Jonathan Storper (Partner, Hanson Bridgett) to support the cause.

Everyone at the food bank appreciates the dedication and hard work that goes into Food from the Bar. This year’s record is particularly meaningful because the San Francisco Food Bank has seen a 32 percent increase in demand for food assistance.

Here are the winning firms, along with our Platinum partners and number of meals their generous contributions will provide:

Per Capita Awards

Grand Prize: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
First Place: Fremont Group
Second Place : Bechtel Legal & Risk Management
Third Place Miller Law Group
Top Food Raiser:  Kirkland & Ellis, LLP
Top Volunteer Recruiter: Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Top Fundraising Achievement: Fremont Group
Rookie of the Year: Bechtel Legal & Risk Management

Platinum Partners

  • Stein & Lubin LLP- 42,867 meals
  • O’Melveny & Myers LLP- 53,868 meals
  • Farella Braun + Martel LLP- 55,448 meals
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP- 56, 969 meals
  • Keker & Van Nest LLP- 63,300 meals
  • Shartsis Friese LLP- 67,755 meals
  • Bechtel Legal & Risk Management- 77,578 meals
  • PG&E Law Department – 84,975 meals
  • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP – 91,666 meals
  • Hanson Bridgett – 93,370 meals
  • Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP – 131,323 meals
  • Fremont Group – 247,080 meals

Amazing “Canstruction” creations will provide more than 50,000 cans of food for the hungry

"Fear The Beard!"

What do SF Giant Brian Wilson’s beard and 2,240 cans of beans have in common? The superstar relief pitcher’s infamous beard was one of 13 San Francisco icons contructed from canned food by some of the city’s top architecture, engineering and building firms.  


Check out this cool time-lapse video of  The Design Partnership and McCarthy Building Companies using 8,000 cans of food to build the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) – an honorable mention winner in the local Canstruction competition.

It’s all part of Canstruction, an international competition making its debut in San Francisco. The incredible creations, including a cable car, the deYoung Museum, the Chinatown gate and Lombard Street are on display now through Sunday, June 25, 2011, on the 4th floor of the Metreon (4th St. and Mission), 11 am – 7 pm. Admission is free, but those attending are encouraged to bring canned food to donate.

View all 13 of the “uncanny” creations in this slideshow!

Prizes were awarded by a panel of celebrity judges, including Brian Boitano, Food Network star and Olympic Champion Figure Skater; Corey Lee, owner and chef at award-winning Benu; Frank Mallicoat, KPIX Morning News Anchor; Peter Pfau, Architect and Principal at Pfau Long Architecture; Mark Bley, President and CEO of Dome Construction; Laura Blumenfeld of Interior Architecture & Design Department at Academy of Art University; and Mark Moore, Structural Engineer and Principal at ZFA Structural Engineers.  

The judges deliberate

 Winning entries: 

Juror’s Favorite: “The Little Engine that CAN,” by Crome Architecture
Structural Ingenuity: “The Heart of the City – SF Food Bank Logo,” by Bull Stockwell Allen, Tipping Mar, Pankow
Best Use of Labels: “Bay Area Rapid CANsportation,” AKA “Lombard Street,” Arup
Best Meal: “Chillin at FisherCANs Wharf,” AKA “Crab in Chowder Bowl,” by Gensler/Glumac

Crystal Honorable Mentions:

“Fear the Beard,” by Fulcrum Structural Engineering and Feldman Architecture
“I Left My Art In San Francisco,” by Design Partnership and McCarthy Building Companies

Plaque Honorable Mentions:

“Gate at Grant at Grant Avenue,” by KMD, DPR Rutherfore+Chekene and M+NLB
“Historic Castro Theatre,” by Degenkolb Engineers

After the exhibition closes, the 50,000-plus cans of food will be donated to the San Francisco Food Bank – enough to provide thousands of meals for those at risk of hunger. That will be a real boon, because we’ve faced a 32% increase in demand for food assistance in the past year.

“It makes my heart warm.”

Frances is a new monthly donor, who was inspired to give after participating in a food drive and listening to the announcement of September 16th’s KGO Fights Hunger Day. 

I’m a daily KGO listener and last week, I heard them mentioning a big announcement coming the next day.  They mentioned it so many times that I thought it had better be pretty important, it had better change the world!

When I heard the executive director of the Food Bank on the radio the next day, I was just overwhelmed — I always am when I hear the numbers about hunger.  It made me think, because just two weeks before that we got a paper bag in the mail for the postal food drive.  My mom and I looked through our cupboards and then went to the store for more food to donate.  We ended up leaving two big bags of groceries out, and it felt good to do that.

I live with my senior mom and we’re paycheck to paycheck.  Between my paycheck and my mom’s social security, we don’t go hungry, thank the Lord.  We’ve been really tight, but we’ve never been hungry.  So when I heard about all of this on the radio that morning, I checked the Food Bank’s website and read about the programs, and I thought we should do some more.

When I told my mom that I wanted to donate money to the Food Bank every month, she asked me how I could afford it with all the bills.  We talked about it a lot and I realized I could probably drink a few less lattes, or pick up the paper a few times a week instead of every day.  If I cut back on a few things, I could make a small donation every month.  I’d like to donate more, but this is all I can do right now.

Knowing that so many people need this food doesn’t give you a good feeling.  But I think that if everybody gave just 5 or 10 bucks, we could all help each other a bit.  It makes my heart warm to know there are still organizations able to assist people to get through tough times and all these government cutbacks, and bottom line give people some sort of dignity.  I’m happy that I can give a little and the Food Bank will get the food out to people who need it.

To participate in our Meal a Month program, click here.

Out of school – and minus a meal

“Imagine you don’t have a well-paying job. Imagine you don’t have a nice apartment, or your home. You have three kids. You’re working part-time at McDonald’s. Then you have another job on top of that. You have one child in childcare, two in school, and you’re paying more than half of your income for rent. But you know your child has food at school.

That’s the situation many of our clients face, as described by Venus, who runs a grocery pantry supported by SF Food Bank. It sounds bad enough – but this time of year, it gets even tougher:

“Now, imagine that the summer comes. You now have to find someone to take care of your children, and you need to make sure they have three meals every day. Can you imagine yourself working two more jobs, or another job just to barely make ends meet? Can you imagine yourself letting your children go hungry?”

While most of us are looking forward to camp, vacations and fun in the sun, thousands of children are at even greater risk of going hungry this summer – a staggering 38,000+ in San Francisco and Marin alone.

Summertime means that children who normally receive free or subsidized school lunches are suddenly minus a meal – in many cases, the one meal they could count on. The San Francisco Food Bank will make every effort to fill in that gap.

We’ve added an additional program to our plate, partnering with the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families to provide healthy snacks daily for 4,000 kids.

Our Programs Department also works hard to help keep our school grocery pantries open, or redirects school pantry visitors to other locations, as needed. And we make sure those pantries that serve an increased number of families have enough food to go around.

Through the coming months, we’ll distribute enough food for 93,000 meals every day, including fresh-picked summer produce: corn, tomatoes, peaches, plums, watermelon and much more.

So as we head into summer, please help us ensure that every child has enough to eat. Because for so many, in summertime the living is not easy.

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