Lawyers Feeding Illinois

In the past few years, we’ve been fortunate to partner with the law community in the bi-state area on several great projects.

In the September 2011 issue of St. Louis Lawyer, Dale Joerling and Robert J. Wagner, both of Thompson Coburn LLP, published “How local charities can benefit from your cypres settlements.” The article detailed a unique way lawyers have contributed to St. Louis Area Foodbank—through settlements that requires cy pres distribution.  Cy pres is French, meaning “as close as possible.” When a gift is made by will or trust (usually for charitable or educational purposes), and the named recipient of the gift does not exist, has dissolved, or no longer conducts the activity for which the gift is made, then the estate or trustee must make the gift to an organization which comes closest to fulfilling the purpose of the gift. Recently, cy pres has been used in class action lawsuits where it is difficult to locate the intended beneficiaries (class members).  Whatever the reason, courts often must decide who, if anyone, should receive the unclaimed benefits.

In October 2012, President & CEO of St. Louis Area Foodbank, Frank Finnegan, was presented with a Spirit of Justice Award at the St. Louis Bar Foundation’s 5th Annual Golden Gala.

Then, in early 2013, we were supported by another great project conducted by the law community – Lawyers Feeding Illinois (LFI).

LFI was a competitive food and fund-raising campaign among lawyers and legal organizations across Illinois. The campaign supported the work of Feeding Illinois.

From February 18 – March 1, 2013, teams of lawyers competed to earn points by collecting food and funds. All donations were routed to local food banks based on zip codes, so contributions directly supported local communities.
Spearheaded by the Illinois State Bar Association, the LFI campaign was supported by theAttorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund and Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as well as several law firms, law schools, judges and bar associations.

In the first year of campaign, nearly 100 teams donated enough resources to provide an estimated 3.8 million meals to families in Illinois.

One organization in our service territory, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, was honored with the Best Government/Non-Profit Award!

The St. Louis Area Foodbank is one of eight food banks in the Feeding Illinois network that benefitted from the LFI campaign. We’d like to thank everyone who made the first year a success.

Donations from Lawyers Feeding Illinois help the St. Louis Area Foodbank serve families in the following 12 Illinois counties:

  • Calhoun
  • Jersey
  • Madison
  • St. Clair
  • Monroe
  • Randolph
  • Clinton
  • Washington
  • Perry
  • Jackson
  • Franklin
  • Williamson


Patrick Delhougne
Patrick Delhougne is the development associate at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.


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