Olens starts food fight with lawyers

By WALTER C. JONES Morris News Service ATLANTA -- Attorney General Sam Olens challenged the state's 10,000 lawyers Wednesday to a food fight of sorts. It's to collect money and groceries for the state's seven regional food banks. He held a Capitol press conference to prompt the 250 firms across Georgia to compete in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy.
"There is no ZIP Code in the state, unfortunately, that doesn't have children needing food," he said. Roughly seven of every 10 school-age children come from families poor enough to qualify for free or reduced lunches. When school is out, the food banks and the hundreds of local food pantries they supply come under the greatest season pressure to feed those children. The lawyers' collection drive runs the two weeks up to May 4, Law Day. "What's good about this one is the timing," said Michael Firmin, executive director of the Golden Harvest Food Bank in the Augusta region. "Most people think the greatest need is the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons." Olens borrowed the idea for the lawyers' food drive from Virginia's bar association which collected 600,000 pounds its first year and more than 2.5 million pounds last year. He recruited the State Bar of Georgia's Young Lawyers Division for the leg work and is offering prizes to the firms of various sizes that make the biggest haul. "It's as simple as picking up extra items while you're food shopping," said Young Lawyer President Stephanie Kirijan. The announcement coincided with the food banks' trip to the Capitol to showcase the need for legislation sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, that would grant them an exemption from sales tax for their inventory. Georgia already exempts individuals from paying a sales tax on foods, but the food banks must pay the tax like every other corporation, even though they're non-profit. "This would enable us to purchase more food and help more people," said Mary Jane Couch, executive director of America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, based in Savannah. The exemption would free up $800,000 yearly for more grocery purchases for the seven food banks, according to Danah Craft, executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association. On the web: www.galegalfrenzy.org www.georgiafoodbankassociation.org


More Local

Newnan Fireworks to light sky rain or shine

Despite morning rain, 4th of July fireworks show presented by Rotary Club of Newnan has not been cancelled at this time. Local storms are e ... Read More


SMA patient dies after defying the odds

A light went out in Newnan this week, as Matt Brown died early Tuesday at the age of 30. When he was 8 months old, Brown was diagnosed with ... Read More


Health Care in Coweta

Patients’ immediate needs dictate EMTs next move

Despite Newnan being dubbed a “medical mecca,” there are times when people must be transported to Atlanta for more specialized a ... Read More


Work to begin on Bullsboro intersection at bypass

The Burger King and Chick-Fil-A intersection of Newnan Crossing Bypass and SR 34 (Bullsboro Drive) in Newnan near Ashley Park will be expand ... Read More


UWG professor puts SPARK into helping teens

When Coweta youth go through the juvenile justice system, some are sent to a completely different kind of program – SPARK. “We d ... Read More

Rescue course to kick off animal control conference

Before its annual conference this month, the Southeastern Animal Control Association will be hosting a special training course for anyone in ... Read More