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

Local dealerships prepared to assist

Millions affected by airbag recall

 By Wes Mayer wesley@newnan.com This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that nearly 34 million vehicles in the Unite ... Read More


Memorial Day

Ceremony Monday in Newnan to focus on 1945

It was 1945. World War II was coming to an end. Music was celebratory. Across Coweta County, there were Victory Gardens and scrap piles. Peo ... Read More


Schools analyze Greentop’s potential impact

The Coweta County School System (CCSS) is unclear as to how it would be affected should the two annexation requests for subdivisions on Gree ... Read More


Man suspected of beating girlfriend arrested

A Newnan man suspected of beating his girlfriend over the weekend was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated battery. About 11:30 p. ... Read More


Northgate to graduate 407 tonight

The Coweta County School System will have its second graduation for the year tonight, when 407 students are set to receive diplomas at North ... Read More

Certificate of Need ordered for Newnan Behavioral Hospital

Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer has ordered the Georgia Department of Community Health to award a Certificate of Need to Vest Newnan, whic ... Read More