I believe it is the moral duty of every lawyer to engage in pro bono work or other charitable endeavors. It is easy for attorneys to get wrapped up about maximizing their billable hours. But there are citizens of our respective communities who have limited access to the courts because they do not have the resources to pay a lawyer. Justice should not be available only to the well to do. It should be available to all. And there are many others with different needs.
This morning, my boys and I collected canned goods and other non-perishable items for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Enough to fill the back of my truck. The food drive is part of the North Carolina Bar Association’s “Legal Feeding Frenzy.” The food will go to feed the hungry in and around Winston-Boys Just Collected A Truck Full Of Food For The Hungry In Winston-Salem.
Over 1.8 million North Carolinians are considered “food insecure,” one of the highest rates in the country, according to a recent study by Feeding America. Many of these individuals are children, senior citizens, and disabled adults. Many others show the new face of hunger—individuals who have lost their jobs, are unemployed or underemployed. In many other instances it is a working mother or working parents who are still struggling to keep food on the table.
Sadly, North Carolina is in a virtual tie with Louisiana with the highest percentage of children under age five experiencing a lack of adequate food; nearly one in four. In fact, North Carolina’s food banks continue to experience record demand for services. In 2012-13 alone, the food banks of North Carolina distributed nearly 140 million pounds of food and grocery products; the equivalent of almost 117 million meals .