Volunteer Team Makes History at Food Bank For New York City

In The News
June 23, 2017

A 51-person team from Ropes & Gray’s New York office—including real estate partner David Djaha, legal recruiting coordinator Lina Vasco, legal recruiting assistant Diana Pallo, legal personnel coordinator Sarah Fichtelberg, legal recruiting assistant Emma Nardi and 46 summer associates—did their part to help combat hunger in New York City in a big way by packing 7,502 pounds of food at Food Bank For New York City’s 90,000 square-foot Bronx warehouse and distribution center on June 8. It was an effort that Food Bank says has “set the bar” for future volunteers, eclipsing the prior food packing record of just over 5,200 pounds. The food packed by Ropes & Gray volunteers translates into 6,251 meals for New Yorkers in need.

“Ropes & Gray’s team put in a tremendous day at our warehouse and distribution center that will make a direct impact on the lives of thousands of New Yorkers who struggle to put food on the table,” said Francisco Tezén, Food Bank’s vice president of fundraising. “We are excited to have Ropes & Gray as a partner in our efforts to end hunger in New York City.”

Ropes & Gray has been partnering with Food Bank since last year’s holiday season, when a New York office holiday food drive brought in more than 150 pounds of canned goods that were distributed to needy families citywide. Since that initial drive, the firm has undertaken several other efforts to benefit Food Bank, including a January 21 service day at Food Bank’s warehouse at which 35 Ropes & Gray volunteers organized and packed more than 3,000 pounds of food, baby products, household items and other donated goods.

Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs for more than 30 years. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, Food Bank provides food for 62.5 million free meals for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, have helped return over $1 billion dollars to low-income New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. In addition, Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 50,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet on a low budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts.

Ropes & Gray works in partnership with Food Bank through the organization’s Justice Served campaign, its platform for collaboration with the legal community.