(PARSIPPANY, April 21, 2014) - Day Pitney partners Lori Braender and Ellen Knarr were part of a team of volunteers honored for their contributions to the Keyport Ministerium Food Pantry (KMFP), a non-profit that provides food to needy families in the Northern Bayshore Area of Monmouth County, NJ. The legal team, which included Wyndham Worldwide Corporation in-house attorney Steve Meetre with assistance from Arlene Richter and Ann Marie Clegg, received the "Outstanding Nonprofit Project Award" on April 3 from Pro Bono Partnership, an organization that provides business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations serving the disadvantaged, of which Day Pitney is a member.
Veronica Gonzales, a former Day Pitney associate and now in-house counsel at Outbrain in New York, was also part of the team.
"Lori and Ellen provided critical technical support and guidance needed for this complex project, all on a volunteer basis," said Isaiah Cooper, executive director of Keyport Ministerium Food Pantry. "Thanks to their hard work alongside many others, our organization will soon be able to serve many more low-income families and senior citizens in our community."
In March 2012, KMFP contacted Pro Bono Partnership requesting assistance; they were outgrowing their current space in a local church. Their request included legal assistance, particularly counsel and oversight for the heavily regulated, highly technical bid and contracting process required for HUD-financed food pantry construction projects. The Partnership turned to Day Pitney client Wyndham Worldwide Corporation for assistance in forming a legal team to help in the project. Ms. Braender and Ms. Knarr, both members of Day Pitney's corporate transaction practice, joined the team that worked closely with the local planning board, helped obtain necessary permits and waivers, prepared and executed a long-term lease, prepared bid documents and provided ongoing guidance and support to the KMFP team.
In July 2013, KMFP broke ground on its new facility and construction is progressing. Once complete, KMFP will have significantly increased food storage and distribution capacity, and it will be able to increase its operating hours to better accommodate working families.