Criminal Law, The Profession

Just $5 per month donation helps feed Toronto's needy

Just one less latte a month would make all the difference for a program that helps feed the needy at the Law Society of Upper Canada cafeteria, says Toronto criminal lawyer Joseph Neuberger.

“We are drawing down on the cash reserves we have built up and we need more donors — just $5 a month from each donor would make all the difference,” says Neuberger, partner at Neuberger and Partners LLP.

“I got involved with fundraising for the Feed the Hungry program about eight years ago. The Toronto Lawyers Association has been heavily involved with fundraising for the program ever since its inception. When I became president of the TLA, I turned the TLA committee over to Karen Erlick. Along with Ian Hull, we developed our own event, Billiards with the Bar, but had been working on a credit card donation campaign for a couple of years.

"Karen and the Law Society have done a great job in bringing this program to fruition. It is a simple and attractive campaign that can go a long way to permanent stability for Feed the Hungry.”

Lawyers Feed The Hungry has been around for about 16 years and in addition to the Toronto program, it also operates in Ottawa, London, Windsor and Barrie. It is completely funded by donations and is independent from any government program.

LFTH is supported by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the TLA and The Law Society Foundation.

“The Toronto program has four meals a week and serves a brunch on Sundays to those in need, ” says Neuberger. “We do all kinds of fundraising to support the program. It costs about $400,000 annually to run, but every year there’s a shortfall and we’re drawing down on the reserves. In a couple of years, we could have some real problems.”

In addition to a $5-monthly donation by credit card, there are several other ways to donate, all of which are explained online, he says.

The program has also been burdened with its own success as more people come for the meals, which are prepared and served by 100 volunteers, Neuberger adds.

“There’s always competition for charitable causes,” says Neuberger. “There are so many of them. We realize that. But if we can just get the majority of Toronto lawyers involved, and even those just outside the city, we really can make a huge difference.”

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