In a contest that put law schools, law firms and other legal organizations in competition with one another to collect food and funds for the Greater Boston Food Bank, Harvard Law School won top honors among law schools by collecting a combination of food and monetary donations, totally the equivalent of 21,728 pounds in donations. Approximately 16,714 meals will be served with HLS’s donation.

HLS Student Government President Brian Aune ’10 said that the team focused on competing with Boston University School of Law, New England School of Law, Northeastern University School of Law and Suffolk University Law School, a strategy which led HLS to win “Most Raised Per Capita by a Law School” and “Most Raised Overall by a Law School” in the Legal Food Frenzy.

The competition, modeled after a successful program in Virginia, brought together 42 legal institutions based in Massachusetts in a challenge to see which could raise the most funds and collect the most food to distribute to food pantries and assistance programs throughout the state.

Every dollar received was credited as 4 pounds of food; thus HLS’s donations to the drive of 39 lbs. of food and $5,422.38 in online donations, according to data compiled by the Greater Boston Food Bank, are expected to translate into approximately 16,714 meals that will benefit hungry families in Massachusetts who have increasingly sought aid at food pantries and soup kitchens.

Aune noted that HLS students raised money primarily through online donations, faculty and staff donations, and fundraisers, such as challenges among student organizations and even 1L sections.  The winning section raised just over $300; the HLS Urban Debate League raised the most money among student organizations.

In total, the competitors collected over 350,000 pounds of food–8,040 in actual food and $83,892 in funds—which will mean nearly 180,000 meals for the hungry in the Commonwealth.

Law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi was presented with the 1st annual Legal Food Frenzy Cup after gathering more than 25,000 pounds of food.

Every year, the Greater Boston Food Bank distributes over 31 million pounds of  food to about 600 hunger relief agencies in eastern Massachusetts. A recent study found that an estimated 571,600 low-income people are served annually by Massachusetts food banks, a 23 percent increase since 2006.