More than 430 McGuireWoods lawyers and staff in 20 of the firm’s offices on two continents created 7,112 sandwiches in the third annual PB&J Challenge on Friday, obliterating a record set last year and exceeding this year’s goal by 5 percent.
The daylong event was part of an ongoing partnership with client ConAgra Foods in its continuing corporate outreach to fight hunger. The sandwiches were sent to food pantries, homeless shelters and other charities in the United States, London and Brussels dedicated to aiding the needy.
Richmond-based regional office administrator John Sansom and Dallas office manager Kimberly Williams, working with counterparts spanning nine time zones, took on the daunting logistical and organizational task of coordinating the international effort. Participation increased from 330 attorneys and staff in 13 offices who created a total of 4,883 sandwiches in 2014.
“This was a lot of fun,” Richmond office managing partner George K. Martin said as he removed the hair net, plastic gloves and apron he wore while spreading dollops of ConAgra Foods’ Peter Pan® peanut butter onto sliced bread in a frantic half-hour of assembly-line sandwich making. It was the first time Martin had been able to participate in the event.
“It’s one of the opportunities we have to bring a significant number of lawyers and staff together to take part in a good community project. It’s a bonding opportunity,” he said. “It’s good for the staff to see lawyers doing the same thing they’re doing.”
Final figures compiled by Williams showed that McGuireWoods sandwich chefs used 740 pounds of Peter Pan peanut butter. The Charlotte office made the most sandwiches — 1,575 — followed by Richmond at 645. The contributions can’t be measured by gross sandwich output because of the variance in the size of offices and differing approaches some offices took. (An office-by-office list follows.)
The European offices, for instance, offered fare other than peanut butter, a rare and unfamiliar product there.
In London, Sansom said, 13 people made sandwiches of cheese and pickle relish, but then paired them with bottles of water and other snacks before delivering 200 full meals to the London Street Food Bank, Williams said.
The Brussels office made 120 sandwiches – 70 of them cheese and salad, and 50 of them ham and salad. The sandwiches went to the Brussels community service nonprofit Nativitas.
In the New York City office, sandwiches find their way down the assembly line to have grape jelly applied.