Ropes & Gray Receives Food Bank for NYC’s Annual Corporate Service Award

Rankings & Awards
May 1, 2019
David Djaha (left) is pictured with Lary Stromfeld (right)
Ropes & Gray managing partner-elect David Djaha (left) is pictured with Lary Stromfeld (right), Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Food Bank for New York City and partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Ropes & Gray has been awarded Food Bank for New York City’s annual Corporate Service Award, which recognizes the firm’s extraordinary work to support Food Bank’s fight against hunger. Ropes & Gray’s efforts include an annual fund raiser, as well as pro bono income tax assistance and volunteering at Food Bank’s Bronx warehouse and Harlem food pantry. In the three years since Ropes & Gray joined Justice Served, the firm has raised the equivalent of more than 400,000 meals for individuals and families in New York as part of annual fundraising campaigns. Beyond donations, lawyers and support team members have devoted hundreds of hours volunteering.

In New York City, approximately 1.4 million people struggle to put food on the table, relying on soup kitchens and food pantries for their next meal. The need for support was more immediate and critical than ever this year, as the federal government shutdown that started in late 2018 disrupted an already fragile emergency food network. Thousands of furloughed government employees and contractors found themselves confronting hunger for the first time. In addition, federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were paid “off-cycle,” so the 1.6 million New Yorkers who rely on SNAP had to make their February disbursement last up to six weeks. Even worse, this “SNAP gap” occurred during the public school winter break, when children lost access to free meals.

These developments stretched Food Bank’s resources to the limit. To help, Ropes & Gray raised the equivalent of 135,000 meals and contributed 175 hours of volunteer time in the first quarter of 2019. The firm’s initiative falls under Food Bank’s Justice Served campaign, the organization’s platform for the legal community.

“Hunger is an issue faced by too many people in New York, but Food Bank effectively combats this problem while preserving the dignity of New Yorkers needing help,” said managing partner-elect David Djaha, who leads the firm’s activities for the organization. “The time, energy and resources the Ropes & Gray community devotes to Food Bank contribute to providing thousands of healthy meals around our city. We’re proud to help.”

In New York and around the work, Ropes & Gray is committed to investing in its communities. That sense of mission is manifested in the firm’s dedication to public service. With its award-winning pro bono program, the firm offers legal services to less fortunate members of society who lack access to justice, as well as to nonprofits and small businesses that support our communities.

Through its community service projects, such as its work with Food Bank, Ropes & Gray gives back to the places where we live and work. The firm’s approach involves mobilizing attorneys and support team members across its 11 offices to participate in activities that raise funds or provide volunteer services to benefit individuals, families and organizations in need.