The Profession

LSUC bolsters Lawyers Feed the Hungry program

Convocation agreed in a majority vote to provide additional funding to the long-running Lawyers Feed the Hungry charitable initiative with a two-year, $200,000 investment — a move which foundation chairman and bencher Ian Hull tells AdvocateDaily.com is “great news and is much needed.”

According to Legal Feeds, the Law Society of Upper Canada benchers debated whether to provide the program with money to fund a stakeholder management co-ordinator, “dedicated to supporting all the Lawyers Feed the Hungry programs in Ontario with a special focus on creating a self-sustaining model for Toronto within two years,” the article states.

Lawyers Feed the Hungry was developed in 1998 and has been primarily funded through donations to the Law Society Foundation. As Legal Feeds notes, the program has been facing a major financial shortfall and Hull pleaded with Convocation late last year to support the program in Toronto or it may be lost.

“When the program began, volunteers provided hot meals once a week in Osgoode Hall’s cafeteria. That blossomed over the years to four hot meals each week all year with about 3,500 people served each month in Toronto,” reports the legal blog.

“All told, including Lawyers Feed the Hungry programs in Ottawa, London, and Windsor, Ont., the programs have served hot meals to more than three million people since the beginning and average about 100,000 people per year. Of that 100,000 annual average, Hull said about 60,000 people come through Toronto’s program,” it continues.

In an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Hull says the demand for the program is ever strong and ever increasing.

“We were running out of energy, time and ability to run the program as is,” says Hull, co-founding partner of Hull & Hull LLP. “We were finding that as lawyers, we're not the greatest fundraisers and so we have sought out some assistance to professionalize the program.”

Hull notes the program runs 15 to 17 events each year to fundraise, but says it now needs to make a more co-ordinated effort.

“Toronto alone requires $360,000 per year to run the program. We just felt we needed some help and resources," he says. "The LSUC funding is a short-term solution and an excellent jump-start because once we get more organized and efficient with our fundraising efforts the hope is that it will become self-sustaining.”

As Hull tells Legal Feeds: “I really do firmly believe we can do this in two years; we are in this with both feet — we just need to give this one good college try.”

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