May Means Time for Food from the Bar:  Legal Community Fights Hunger In LA

By WLALA Board Member Kathleen McDowell

May 2019

For over ten years now, WLALA has participated in the annual Food from the Bar campaign,  a month-long friendly competition among law firms and legal offices to support the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s mission to make sure that no child in our community goes hungry.  The month-long campaign (May 1 to June 1) has raised over $4,000,000 during the decade it has been in existence in Los Angeles, and has become the major source of support for the Food Bank.


WLALA has participated each year of the Food from the Bar campaign through individual donations by WLALA members and volunteering at the Food Bank.  There are opportunities for every WLALA to get involved in some way.  This year, for example, WLALA sent a team to compete in “The Munger Games,” a trivia contest kick-off held on April 25.   The WLALA “Crème de la Femme” was composed of WLALA members Judge Melissa Widdifield and Jessica Walker, assisted by Craig Thigpen, Ariel Green, and Bill Temko.  They were the only team – out of fifteen teams total – that was able to answer the question in the final round based on only one clue. 


But the best – and easiest – way to show that WLALA leads the local bar associations in actively working to eliminate childhood hunger is to give money – at (truly) any amount.   The Food Bank is able, through its relationships with food providers, to turn every dollar donated into up to four meals.   Don’t think that your $10 or $20 donation won’t mean anything.  Just think of the impact WLALA would have if even half of its 1000 members gave $20 each.


You can donate online at WLALA’s online donation page.  Or you can send a check to the WLALA office made payable to “Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.”   If you’re read this far, please take a moment NOW and make that donation.


You can register your office or firm.  Online registration is free, easy and available here, and any size firm or office can participate.  The Food Bank has a coordinator’s packet that will guide you through how to participate.  Give it a try, as every bit helps, in terms of number of firms participating and dollars raised. 


Volunteer at the Food Bank.  Each Saturday morning in May, you can join your WLALA colleagues and others in the legal community in a “hands-on” volunteer experience at the Food Bank.  Volunteer projects can include sorting donated food items, packing food kits for seniors and children, or sorting fresh perishables such as produce or bread.  There are two special “Friends and Family Days” (May 4 and May 18) at which children as young as five years old can join in the volunteer experience.   May 11 has been designated Bar Association Volunteer Day – where members of all the various bar associations in LA County will come together for this day of service.  Do not delay – volunteer spaces go quickly. 


Just click on any of the links below for the volunteer session of your choice:




SIGN ME UP- Family & Friends Day – FFTB – May 4th – 9 am to 12 pm


SIGN ME UP – WLALA-Bar Association Volunteer Day – May 11th


SIGN ME UP- Family & Friends Day – FFTB – May 18th – 9 am to 12 pm  


There is also a volunteer opportunity available at the Westside Food Bank on Saturday, May 11 from 4 to 9 pm.   The Westside Food Bank is located at 1710 22nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404.  Contact Allison Griffith at (310) 828-6016, ext. 12 or to volunteer there.


For more information, contact WLALA’s Food from the Bar liaison, Kathleen M. McDowell at or 213-683-9134.



More about the Food Bank’s Work and Reputation


• 1 out of 7 people in L.A. County is at risk of hunger, the equivalent of 1.4 million residents.

• Of the more than 300,000 individuals who receive assistance from the Food Bank each month, more than 80,000 are children.

• The main focus of the Food Bank is providing nutritious meals, and 20 percent of the food distributed is fresh produce.

• More than 1 million pounds of food are distributed each week through a network of more than 650 charitable agencies and Food Bank programs.

• For every $1 donated, the Food Bank provides enough food for 4 meals.

• The Food Bank has a Four Star rating from Charity Navigator.