Herrera highlights Food Bank drive with nearly $9K donation from unclaimed restitution funds

With legal community’s ‘Food from the Bar’ annual drive underway, City Attorney praises Food Bank as worthy recipient of unclaimed dollars from payday lender case

SF-Marin Food Bank Executive Director Paul Ash and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera

SAN FRANCISCO (April 30, 2015)—City Attorney Dennis Herrera delivered a check for $8,796 to the SF-Marin Food Bank today, highlighting the San Francisco’s legal community’s annual fundraising drive—called “Food from the Bar”—to aid the venerable non-profit’s important work. Because each dollar donated to the Food Bank enables the purchase of $6.00 worth of food, the donation offers more than $52,000 in value to help feed local families in need.

Today’s donation reflects the final dollars that remained unclaimed from settlements Herrera negotiated with storefront payday lenders Check ’n Go and Money Mart/Loan Mart in litigation that alleged illegal business practices primarily targeted at low-income borrowers. The civil settlements secured more than $7.7 million in total restitution payments, which were successfully distributed to more than 10,000 eligible claimants throughout California. For the modest remainder, Herrera viewed the SF-Marin Food Bank as the best, most worthy recipient.

“The SF-Marin Food Bank does important and practical work that makes a real difference in the lives of low-income residents who are struggling like never before,” Herrera said. “My office, like every other law office in the San Francisco Bay Area, has a vital role to play in sharing the Food Bank’s social justice mission—not just in the dollars we donate, but in the legal work we can do to protect those most vulnerable to injustice. I’m proud of the consumer protection work the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office does, and I’m proud to continue our participation in the ‘Food from the Bar’ annual fundraising drive. We couldn’t imagine a better, more worthy recipient for the dollars unclaimed from our payday lender case, and we’re delighted to do it a time in which we can highlight the legal community’s commitment to the SF-Marin Food Bank.”

Now in its 23rd year, “Food from the Bar” is an annual support drive by the Bay Area’s legal community in which firms compete by volunteering, raising money and collecting food. This year’s drive runs through June 12, 2015. Last year, more than 70 legal teams participated to raise nearly $700,000. It remains one of the SF-Marin Food Bank’s most important campaigns feeding millions of people since its inception. The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office maintains a collection barrel at its Fox Plaza office’s at 1390 Market Street in the 7th Floor elevator lobby. It is accessible to members of the public who wish to donate non-perishable food items Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. City Attorney staff as well as members of the public may also make credit card donations through the office’s team fundraising page at:

https://fooddrives.sfmfoodbank.org/team/san-francisco-city-attorneys-office

SF-Marin Food Bank Executive Director Paul Ash and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera

To maximize its outreach to the more than 10,000 borrowers who received restitution payments as a result of Herrera’s Check ’n Go and Money Mart/Loan Mart settlements, the City Attorney’s Office employed memorably innovative tactics, including a unique take on 2012’s ubiquitous trend of viral videos set to Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit, “Call Me Maybe.” The office’s “Pay Me Maybe” video gained national attention through news outlets and social media, and became an anthemic centerpiece to a community outreach program that partnered with hundreds of consumer advocates, elected leaders, and church and community organizations for the successful statewide program.

For more information on the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, visit: https://sfcityattorney.org.

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