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Trial Lawyers Step Up to Feed Hungry Children

By Ryan Banfill 

America is hailed in song as being a land blessed with “fruited” plains yet, it is also home to food insecurity for 37 million Americans, including 11 million children. That’s where the number stood before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, estimates say as many as 18 million children are living in food insecure homes.  

According to the Brookings Institution’s recent COVID Impact Survey and in the Survey of Mothers with Young Children, at the end of April 2020, more than one in five households in the United States, and two in five households with mothers with children 12 and under, were food insecure. In almost one in five households of mothers with children age 12 and under, the children were experiencing food insecurity

In Florida, Feeding America estimates 2,768,480 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 819,370 are children. Reflecting the contribution of Florida’s trial lawyer community to addressing the problem of childhood hunger in Florida, the Florida Justice Association Research and Education Foundation recently raised $2,755 for No Kid Hungry in a virtual fundraiser held during the association’s virtual annual conference.    

“When one person goes hungry, we are all weaker. Helping our neighbors in need – particularly children – is a value as old as our Republic. America’s founders even recognized the importance of the national welfare to ensuring tranquility at the beginning of the U.S. Constitution,” said FJA President Eric Romano, who serves as chairman of the Florida Justice Association Research and Education Foundation. “Evidence recently released regarding hunger among Florida’s 21.5 million residents is a virtual economic hurricane warning flag flying over the Sunshine State that needs immediate attention. Recognizing the fundamental priority of feeding hungry children, I’m proud trial lawyers across Florida are making a meaningful commitment to addressing the problem in Florida.” 

Romano was referring to a June analysis conducted for Feeding Florida  regarding the employment disruption of COVID-19 that shows:   

  • Total unemployed without pay in Florida resulting from COVID-19: 3,324,551 workers;  
  • Percentage of civilian workforce now or soon to be unemployed without pay related only to COVID-19: 35%;  
  • Missing weekly meals resulting from only from the employment disruption of COVID-19: 2,723,532;  
  • Pre-COVID-19 weekly missing meals (per our March 2020 analysis – higher than previously documented by other studies): 16,936,154; and 
  • Pre-and-post-COVID-19 total weekly missing meals: 19,659,686. 

Please visit Feeding America to learn more about hunger in our state and locate the food bank near you.  

About the Florida Justice Association Research and Education Foundation 

The FJA Research and Education Foundation, a 501C (3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization, promotes the study and understanding of Florida’s civil justice system and the ways preserving this system benefits consumers, victims, and all Floridians. 

About No Kid Hungry 
No child should go hungry in America, but in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of kids are living in families facing hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.  

Ryan Banfill is Communications Director for the Florida Justice Association.