Young Lawyers Continue a 32-Year Legacy
For 32 years, the dedicated Maryland attorneys that participate in the annual Lawyers Campaign Against Hunger have shown that they know it takes more than food to end hunger. We recently spoke with Judson Arnold to learn about some exciting new additions to this year’s Campaign. Judson is the Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger. He is an attorney at Silverman Thompson and resides in Baltimore City.
Maryland Food Bank
Since 1987, the Lawyers Campaign Against Hunger has raised more than $5.7 million (the equivalent of more than 17 million meals) for hungry Marylanders. What does it mean to you to know that you are part of such a proud tradition?
I am one of the founding members of the Young Lawyers committee and am honored to be this year’s Chair. My goal is to hold true the traditions established for more than 30 years, but also be innovative so that younger attorneys (40 and under) are moved by the Maryland Food Bank’s mission.
It is energizing to be a part of a campaign with such tangible successes. The goal to raise $350,000 for this year’s campaign can provide enough food to distribute one million meals. The impact we can have on hungry Marylanders is transformative for me. It’s highly motivating.
I understand you are trying some new tactics this year to engage with more Young Lawyers – can you tell us about that? (Happy Hours. Trivia Nights, etc.)
I, along with the 16-member Young Lawyers committee, are trying to utilize new ways to reach people who will want to meaningfully support the food bank’s future. That includes social fundraisers and virtual food drives. Each member of the committee has also been challenged to bring one new person to our events, which unfailingly proves to be impactful. Most people don’t understand the devastation of hunger until it’s in front of them.
Has hunger touched your life at all? (relative, friend, neighbor, colleague, etc?) Have you heard from other LCAH participants about this topic?
I know that I am privileged when I say that hunger has not touched my life directly. I have an appreciation for how different my life might look if my family had grown up without reliable and healthy food. It’s humbling to hear firsthand from people who have had to deal with the numerous challenges caused by food insecurity. I joined the Young Lawyers committee because I want to do whatever I can to support Marylanders in need. Food is a basic human right; everyone should have access to it.
How has the LCAH campaign affected the lawyers that participate? Have groups gotten closer? Is there increased communication? Are you aware of any participants that have chosen to donate/volunteer/partner with MFB outside of/in addition to the LCAH?
The lawyers who I have introduced to the campaign have found it to be very rewarding. For instance, two of my friends from law school and a current colleague were impacted by the campaign to the point where they decided to join the committee. They have since taken an active role and brought a noticeable energy. Many of the attorneys I have talked to really value the clarity of the need and solutions raised in the campaign. In our hierarchy of needs, we all agree that it is unacceptable that something as fundamental as hunger remains a barrier for more than 650,000 people in Maryland. That shouldn’t be.
What would you say to other similar business sectors (Realtors, Doctors, Dentists) who may be looking for a social responsibility outlet about why the Maryland Food Bank is: a worthy recipient/easy to work with/offers unique opportunities not found elsewhere (statewide reach/varied tasks/different ways to participate).
There is no other organization in Maryland that has the scope and reach like the Maryland Food Bank. They address the root causes of hunger through their programs for school-aged children facing food insecurity all the way to teaching culinary skills via their FoodWorks workforce development program. In addition to providing food, they are innovating programs that look at the entire person and how they can improve their life.
How can someone get involved?
Please donate to the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger by visiting our fundraiser. If you would like to join the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger committee, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.