Kicking Off #GivingTuesday with Local Effort to Combat Rising Food Insecurity, Global Law Firm Asks Others to Help Meet Growing Need
PHILADELPHIA – Dec. 1, 2020 – With the economic toll the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has taken on food banks stripped nearly barren largely by the unexpectedly unemployed, global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Philadelphia office is focused on helping to end food insecurity throughout the city this #GivingTuesday.
The office is partnering with the North Philadelphia-based Share Food Program in a donation drive to help bulk up food pantries across the city and region that are being accessed with greater frequency amid the COVID- 19 pandemic. But Greenberg Traurig’s efforts to assist with ending local food insecurity will extend beyond the holiday season.
Today through Feb. 1, 2021, the firm’s Philadelphia-based lawyers and business staff are invited to donate to Share, the 35-year-old nonprofit that distributes nutritious foods to vulnerable families, children, and seniors through its network of community-based organizations and school districts. They are also being asked to spread the word about the local need via their social media networks.
“It is great that so many of us have adopted the ‘Giving Tuesday’ concept, setting aside a few dollars from our normal holiday spends to donate to charity,” said Curtis B. Toll, managing shareholder of the Philadelphia office. “But the pain of this particular period is likely to last well past the holiday season. This winter is projected to be especially harsh, with even more COVID-19 created catastrophes for families.
“Too many in our own region already are making heartbreaking choices, like whether to pay for rent or utilities or food,” Toll said. “So, our intent is to expand this campaign beyond a one-day effort, for deeper impact.”
Greenberg Traurig is the first area law firm to join the #FoodBankChallenge with Share.
“But we don’t have to be the only ones to forge this partnership model to drive change,” Toll added. “Like many law firms, we normally offer our support quietly. But given the urgency of this issue, we are publicly inviting our bar colleagues, our clients, our families, and our friends to join us in this campaign – and to out-raise us, even. The winners will be our neighbors.”
Nearly 1 in 4 Philadelphia households exist at or below the poverty line – an estimate created before COVID-19 shuttered businesses, increased hospital stays, and forced some parents to choose between work and home-schooling their children.
So far, local traditional holiday-centered giving has not kept pace with the growing need, as government financial relief has stalled, impacting many across the region, according to George Matysik, executive director of Share Food Program.
"Before COVID-19, more than 18% of Philadelphians were struggling with food insecurity — and we see that percentage surging right now," Matysik, said. "We are very grateful for this generous holiday initiative and appreciate the support of Greenberg Traurig.”
This campaign is one of several efforts Greenberg Traurig has launched or intensified through its Social, Racial, and Economic Justice Action Plan – a set of guiding principles and outreach initiatives designed to address justice and inequality issues in locations where the firm operates.
Named the “2020 Trailblazing Partner of the Year” by Philadelphia VIP for its pro bono activities, Greenberg Traurig continues its history of supporting a range of public interest law and social action organizations focused on improving quality of life in the region.
About Greenberg Traurig Philadelphia: Founded in 1997, Greenberg Traurig’s Philadelphia office is home to some 50 attorneys whose practices include Real Estate, Public Finance, Litigation, Labor & Employment, Environmental, Government Law & Policy, Restructuring & Bankruptcy, White Collar Defense & Special Investigations, Corporate & Securities, Intellectual Property, Immigration & Compliance, Investment Regulation, and Tax. The Philadelphia office represents clients in the manufacturing, health care, real estate, energy, financial, and insurance industries, state and local governments, professional service, and energy firms and individuals.
About Greenberg Traurig: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT), has approximately 2200 attorneys 40 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity, and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law360 400 and among the Top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. The firm is net carbon neutral with respect to its office energy usage and Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified. Web: www.gtlaw.com
About Share Food Program: Share Food Program is the largest-serving hunger relief organization in the Philadelphia region, and one of the largest independent food banks in the nation, working to eradicate food insecurity through food distribution, education and advocacy. In quality partnerships with nearly 800 schools and 150 community-based pantries across the region, Share Food Program serves more than 1 million family members and neighbors in need, throughout Philadelphia and surrounding counties, each month. Web: Sharefoodprogram.org.